Google and Amazon recently unveiled new services on their respective apps Search, Maps, and digital assistant Alexa that provide details regarding nearby Covid-19 testing and vaccination centres in countries globally, including India, to aid individuals in getting vaccinated. On May 1, 2021, WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart revealed that the company was collaborating with health service providers to run helplines using chatbots on the messaging app. The MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot now can locate the nearest vaccination centre through WhatsApp. Will Cathcart, WhatsApp Chief, said "I am thinking of our friends in India going through such a difficult time with COVID and grateful for all the work people are doing to help one another. We're working with health partners to support helplines on WA(WhatsApp like this one from MyGov India handle." Here is a step-by-step guide to use WhatsApp to locate the nearest vaccination centre.
- First, save this MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot number +919013151515 number on your mobile phone and open your WhatsApp account.
- Now locate the MyGov Corona Helpdesk contact and open it.
- Type "Namaste" and send it after which you will get a list of services. As the first service, you'll see "COVID Vaccination - Centres and Authentic Information." That is the one you need to select.
- Select "COVID Vaccination - Centres and Authentic Information" by sending "1" to the MyGov Corona Helpdesk.
- Now you will again get a list of services from which the first service is called "COVID Vaccination - Centres Related Information," and it is this one that you must choose.
- Select "COVID Vaccination - Centres Related Information" by sending "1" to the MyGov Corona Helpdesk. The WhatsApp chatbot will now prompt you to type your location's PIN code.
- Send your PIN code to the MyGov Corona Helpdesk, and it will display a list of vaccination centres in your location if any are available. On WhatsApp, it will provide you with a link to register for the COVID-19 vaccine and book a slot.
- If you don't want to save the phone number, go to wa.me/919013151515, which will take you straight to the chatbot. The same method can be followed on the WhatsApp web version on a computer. You can also use the CoWIN website, the Aarogya Setu application, Google Maps, and other services to locate a COVID-19 centre near you.