Amid the raging coronavirus second wave, vaccination is the need of the hour. In order to accelerate the vaccination drive, Gurugram-based ride-sharing startup Sugatix launched a new vaccine search portal vaccinetrackercowin.com earlier this month.
Built using CoWIN APIs, the portal will help users find suitable vaccination slots in their areas. Speaking to YS, Sugatix co-founder, Gaurav K. Verma said that the team realised the need for building such a platform as only one CoWIN portal is available to the entire country for vaccine registration.
Gaurav K. Verma and Pratibha Singh, Co-founders, Sugatix [Image Credit: Sugatix]
“We needed to continuously refresh the CoWIN portal to see if slots are available or not, and this needs a lot of time. Thus we built this platform to alert people in case a slot opens up. Users can immediately select the slot and then the page will redirect them to CoWIN for booking the slot,” he adds.
Gaurav explained that the portal will store the name and email address of the user to alert them once the slot opens up. If the user wants, they can also register their mobile number for SMS and WhatsApp alerts.
Founded in 2020 by Gaurav and his wife Pratibha Singh, Sugatix is aimed at making travel greener through its ride-sharing services for office commute. Gaurav explained that ride-sharing will not only reduce the impact of greenhouse gases but also help individuals save money.
The team launched the vaccine tracker platform after realising the need to help people with solutions to get access to vaccines. However, Gaurav explained that the CoWIN API comes with a challenge.
“From one IP address, one can search only 100 districts in five minutes. If you want to search more than 100 districts at a time, then the IP gets blocked. We had to build a really complex algorithm in order to escape this. I believe it would be really helpful if the API restriction could be lifted as that would help people to search slots using our platform and reduce the pressure on CoWIN servers,” he adds.
Gaurav revealed that the vaccine tracker platform currently has over 852 users from 183 districts across the country. He added that the platform is also seeing people from US, UK and Japan, as residents there are also using it to book slots for their family staying in India.
Speaking about future plans, Gaurav said that while the startup is trying its best to further enhance the vaccine tracking platform, it will eventually also consider including oxygen, plasma donor tracking service in order to combat the covid crisis.