This will digitally convey the individuals’ Covid-19 vaccination status to entities with whom they may be engaging

In a move that will enable entities to authenticate an individual's Covid-19 vaccination status, the CoWIN platform has developed a new API called ‘Know Your Customer’s/Client’s Vaccination Status’ or KYC-VS.

While CoWIN already issues a digitally verifiable proof of vaccination certificate, the new API will let an entity know if an individual is vaccinated or not.

Announcing the new feature on Friday, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare explained how it would help.

As the socio-economic activities are being gradually revived while maintaining everyone’s safety, there is a need for a way to digitally convey the status of individuals’ vaccination to entities with whom they may be engaging with for any or all reasons, as employees, passengers or residents, the health ministry said.

This is how CoWIN's new feature will work.

To use this API, an individual needs to enter his/her mobile number and name. Thereafter, they will get an OTP which they have to enter. In return, Co-WIN will send a response to the verifying entity on the individual’s status of vaccination, which will be as follows:

0 - Person is not vaccinated

1 - Person is partially vaccinated

2 - Person is fully vaccinated

This response will be digitally signed and can be shared instantly with the verifying entity.

A real-life example could be when at the time of booking a railway ticket, an individual will input the necessary details for buying the ticket and if required, the concerned entity will also get the vaccination status in the same transaction, with the due consent of the individual.

KYC-VS will facilitate all such use cases and more.

Co-WIN is already issuing a digitally verifiable proof of vaccination certificate, which can be saved on a digital device (smartphone, tablet, laptop etc.) or stored in Digi Locker. It can be digitally shared as and when required as a proof of vaccination.

Similarly, at entry points where such certificate is required (e.g., in malls, office complex, public events etc.), it may be shown in both the digital and physical forms.

The health ministry pointed out that there may, however, be instances where an entity does not need to see the certificate in full and would just need to know whether an individual has been vaccinated or not.

It listed a few such possible use cases:

* An enterprise/employer may like to know the vaccination status of its employees to resume functions in offices, workplaces etc.

* The Railways may want to get the status of vaccination of the passengers who are getting their seats reserved in the trains.

* Airlines may want to get the status of vaccination of the passengers who are booking their flight tickets, and/or airports may only want to allow vaccinated passengers to pass through.

* Hotels may want to know the vaccination status of the residents at the time they are checking into the hotel, or at the time of making online bookings.

It is here that the new CoWIN API will be useful.

According to the health ministry, the KYC-VS is both consent-based and privacy preserving.

Additionally, in order to facilitate quick integration and faster adoption, the Co-WIN Team has prepared a webpage with the API, which may be embedded in any system. This will allow for a seamless integration with any system in no time.

The health ministry said this service may be utilized by any service provider, private or public, for whom verifying an individual’s vaccination status is critical for facilitating a service requested.