This time last year, India was queuing outside supermarkets and banks. Now the queues have also moved to the digital space, as the vaccination drive for all adults has opened up across the country. It has not been easy; the wait has been riddled with anxiety owing to vaccine shortages.

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But the past year has been a lesson in the power of online community, with people taking to social media for help, SOS calls and enquiries about registrations on CoWIN and Aarogya Setu apps.

Though help has been crowdfunded over the pandemic, the special skill-sets of technologists have been deployed cleverly – and at a welcomingly fast pace, too.

“India’s innovators have played a crucial role in our fight against COVID-19. I invite innovators and startups for grand challenge to strengthen CoWIN platform for roll out of COVID-19 vaccination program across India,” Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ministry of Telecommunications and IT, said in December 2020 when the CoWIN open API was announced.

Quickly, websites such as, and have helped people get appointments at verified vaccine centres. These platforms were possible in the first place because CoWIN’s API (application programming interface) has now been opened to the public. This means developers are free to access the framework of the app and integrate it into their own platform, like how Google Maps is used in food delivery apps.

Additionally, the developers of each of these platforms have also ensured they use terms that most people would be searching frantically online already.