Thursday, December 8

Kolkata: Now, book 2nd jab via WhatsApp chatbot

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Now chat with a web robot to fix a schedule for the jab at a KMC vaccination centre.
The civic body utilised the two-day weekend break to introduce a chatbot — a software application used to conduct an online chat conversation via text using artificial intelligence — that will guide people seeking the second vaccine dose and help book a slot to avoid crowding.In the first phase, KMC will offer the service for its centres at Bidhan Sishu Udyan, South City School and Roxy Cinema building. It will thereafter be extended to is centres in various wards.

The Covid vaccination appointment booking system can be accessed through the WhatsApp number 8335999000. A person has to type “Hi” and the bot will then respond, guiding the person through the rest of the process.
“Bookings for inoculation on May 18 will start from 10am on May17,” said an official.

The KMC is offering the service in association with the state health department. According to the KMC board of administrators’ chairman Firhad Hakim, the facility would be made available for 45+ recipients at specified KMC clinics.

KMC is offering the second dose of Covaxin at some of its clinics. Frontline Covid warriors, including healthworkers, can also walk into any clinic and take Covishield or Covaxin shots. Also, any individual who has taken a Covishield first dose and missed the second dose can walk in for it if 84 days have lapsed since the first jab.

Those who are slated to take the jab on Monday spent the better part of Sunday trying to figure out how they can reach the vaccination venue amidst the restrictions imposed on public and private transport.

“My husband and I have our second dose of vaccination scheduled on Monday but I don’t know if it would be a violation to take our motorbike to the vaccination centre. Last time, we had to stand in a queue behind 100 others for the first jab. What I have been hearing from relatives, friends and in the media, I don’t even know if I would at all get the vaccine even after risking a trip amidst the restrictions,” said Tanima Mondal

(46), a resident of Behala.

Kolkata Police officers, however, had a simple solution: carry proof of first vaccine dose in case you are seeking the second jab and for those seeking the first dose, produce the relevant SMS alert.

Apart from KMC vaccination centres, government hospitals and a couple of private hospitals will also resume the vaccination drive from Monday between 10am and 4pm. Hospitals have arranged for bus service to pick and drop vaccinators and other officials required to run the drive.

Source: Times of India

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