Finally, I booked a vaccination slot!

Guide and a tip to book a slot for 18+ with a high chance of getting it.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

If you are one of those people who are eager to get the slot for vaccination and have been stuck for a long time now, this blog is for you.

I will try to keep independent of the city, and non-technical as far as possible.

Content:
- How to book a slot?
- The problem?
- Tip/Trick to book a slot using a computer program! Don't worry, you just need to click!

How do we book a vaccination slot?

There are 2 ways to book a vaccination slot.

Way 1

  • Go to the Cowin website, register/sign in by using your phone number.
  • Add a beneficiary using the Aadhar Card or any other gov id.
  • After that, you can click on the schedule appointment and check the availability of the slots.

Way 2

  • Download the Argoya Setu app from the play store on your phone.
  • Go to the vaccination tab, and you can check the availability accordingly.

Sounds pretty simple right?

The problem?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

You never find a slot available.

Possible Solutions

  • Stay logged in on the website and keep clicking every second for 24 hours? Not feasible
  • In the case of Mumbai, on Twitter, mybmc notifies when the slots are about to open (sometimes they don’t). So, everyone can sit and book, but even then everyone needs to click on the search button every second. filter it, to get the latest results. But even if BMC announces when they are about to open the slot, it gets booked before you click on a slot. Similarly, if you are from a different city, you can look for your respective government body that manages the area for Twitter updates, but many cities do not have it.
  • If you check online, there are multiple notifying apps, but do they work? When vaccination started, I registered on a couple of them and chilled thinking that I would be notified whenever the slot opens. To date, never got a notification.
  • Some telegram groups post the notification asap the slot opens. This link (Thanks to Prerna, my sis who shared it with me, Hi di!) has telegram group links for various cities. I can verify Mumbai’s link on that. The group is basically integrated ( technically with APIs provided by the government ) to get the updates every second and post any availability on the group via computer programs. You can download telegram on your phone and click on the respective city link and stay updated, ASAP the link comes you can go to the site and log in and book. The problem? Since everyone is trying to log in, OTP servers are overloaded and you might get OTPs late ( I mean 1 to 2 minutes late )

The game is much bigger for 18+ slots. Whenever a slot comes online, I have personally experienced it, it gets booked within 15 seconds (1 minute, if it's your lucky day).
In the case of notification apps, till the time you get notified, open a laptop, the slots will be long gone.
In case you are waiting for a telegram notification, till the time you receive an OTP for login, the slots are booked already.

The above ways will only help you to some extend.

Tip/Trick to book

Photo by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash

What if I told you, there is a program that checks the availability for every second FOR you. That means you do not need to click the buttons manually, it will do it for you and book it too.

One of my colleagues at work (Hi Dhawal!) shared a website that helps us do that. I am sure there are multiple ones, this is is personally verified by me cause I booked my slot using this website.

Note for the tech guys reading this: The repository does not have support to choose a particular center for booking, let's try to make it better for the community :)

The website (1) needs to be open on one of the tabs on your computer, keep the computer on, and turn any sleep settings. The concept is that you just fill the details on the website and feed it OTP ( once every 15 minutes ) and it will automatically book the slot for you.

Points to remember:

  • Whenever an OTP is required, the website speaks it out, so if you are working, you can hear the message “An OTP has been sent, please enter” so that you can enter the OTP and the program keeps running.

Why do I need to enter the OTP every time? Because the government website does not let you use the same OTP for more than 15 minutes per session.

  • Whenever the program attempts to book the slot for you, in case of captcha, it will again speak it out lout “Please enter the CAPTCHA”, in that case, u need to quickly enter the captcha and you are done! It took me 2 days to book a slot, I ran the program for a full day.

In case you know when the slots are going to open, you can only run for that time. The programmer who made the website has added a QR code at the bottom, if you like his service, you can donate him as well. I personally wrote this blog advertising for him so I am excused :P

My advice
Join the telegram group, look at the slot timings for the past 4 to 5 days. If you see some pattern like the slots open between 4 to 6, then you can use the website between 4 to 6 and get your work done.

P.S. The slots get booked so fast because almost everyone is running or using the APIs which are publicly given by the government to consume. For non-tech guys, APIs are some programs that your program can use to do a task. In our case: Book a slot and check availability.

Thank you

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope I could inform you of some basic things about slot booking and a valuable tip for the same. If so, please like (clap sign) and share it on any platform you feel suitable.

Links

1 https://yashwanthm.github.io/cowin-vaccine-booking/

Website mentioned above

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

P.S

Feel free to connect with me over Linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/yash-t-a3870889/

Love to code, eager to learn new technologies, and keep myself at the cutting edge.