Student who anonymously helped thousands get their vaccine reveals identity
The computer science student who has anonymously been helping lakhs of people find vaccine slots has finally revealed his identity.
Chandraaditya Putrevu is a student at the George Mason University in Virginia, after completing high school in the city's Greenwood High School in 2019. He was stuck at home when the lockdown was announced and says he created the bot because he wanted to keep himself occupied and help people. When the vaccine drive opened to every adult in the country on April 28, 2021, people were struggling to find slots on the CoWin website.
Chandra (the only name he shared at the time) decided to build a bot on Twitter called Bangalore Vaccine Updater that would trawl CoWin and send alerts about available slots.
Speaking to a medical daily, he said, “The bot I built keeps trawling the CoWIN website and Aarogya Setu app every 1.35 seconds, seeking out these new openings and sending out alerts to people who have signed up for them.”
Since it was created in May 2021, the Twitter page has built a following of nearly 42,000 followers, many of whom have successfully got the vaccine after being alerted about its availability.
Chandraaditya took to Twitter earlier today to finally reveal his identity and say that he too has got his first dose of the vaccine.
In early May, the Indian government had said that walk-in vaccinations would not be allowed for people aged 18–44 years, making registration on CoWin mandatory.
However, last week, the Union health ministry said pre-registration for Covid-19 vaccination and a prior booking of appointment is no longer mandatory for anyone over the age of 18 years.
The government issued a statement saying, "Anyone, aged 18 years or more, can directly go to the nearest vaccination Center where the vaccinator performs the on-site registration and provides vaccination in the same visit. This is also popularly known as “walk-ins."