One of the most common questions that people in India are asking nowadays is: “Are there any free Covid vaccine centers near me?” The answer is yes. Actually, there’re lots of medical clinics and other facilities started by the Indian government and private medical institutions that offer you the Covid-19 vaccinations near you. In fact, some of these would be at a walking distance.
There’re four different ways to find the Covid-19 vaccine centers near you. In this article, I will be discussing all these three different ways, so that you could find a vaccination center at walking distance and get the jabs.
How Can I Find the Nearest Covid-19 Vaccination Centre?
All the three ways to find Covid-19 vaccine centers near you are very easy. As a matter of fact, the Indian government is now offering walk-in facilities that operate temporarily from community halls, schools or colleges and other locations. That way, you don’t need to pre-register for a Covid-19 vaccine shot. You can simply join the queue and get the jab.
With India having set the world record of administering more than one billion jabs of the Covid-19 vaccine, the Indian government has done away with the earlier rule of registering for the vaccine through the cowin.gov.in portal.
Therefore, if you’re interested in getting the Covid-19 jab, here’re four best ways.
How to Find Covid Vaccine Centers Near Me
1. Google Maps
You can easily find the nearest Covid-19 vaccine centers near you and those within walking distance simply by using Google Maps on your smartphone or computer. All you need to do is keep the location services on your smartphone or computer switched on.
Type the keywords “Covid-19 vaccine centers near me.” And Google Maps will display all the nearest vaccination facilities. These will include both, state-run as well as private hospitals and clinics where you can get the Covid-19 jab.
However, there’s one a major glitch when trying to find Covid-19 vaccine centers nearby or within walking distance near you using Google Maps. That is, some of the state-run walk-in vaccine centers that Google Maps would display might have closed since they were only temporary facilities.
In fact, even Google Maps carries the warning asking you to confirm whether the vaccine is available at the location. In some cases, there’re no phone numbers available to call up and enquire. This can prove a major handicap.
2. Cowin Portal
The best way to find a Covid-19 vaccine center near you is the Indian government portal that operates specifically for the purpose. You can access this portal at www.cowin.gov.in.
Once you access the portal, register yourself using your mobile number and any of the photo ID proofs such as passport, Aadhar card, PAN card, driving license or Pensioner’s Card. You can add up to four members per registration through the cowin.gov.in portal.
Upon successful registration, you have to select the age groups of the persons who wish to take the vaccine. Currently, there’re two age groups where you can register candidates for the Covid-19 vaccine. One is the 18-44 years age group and the other is the 45 years and above age group.
Here, you can search for the nearest Covid-19 vaccination centers by simply keying in your Postal Index Number (PIN) code and whether you wish to avail of a free jab or a paid one. At the time of writing this article, only Covishield vaccines are available and a paid jab costs Rs.780 each.
You can fix the appointment with the free Covid-19 vaccine center or the paid one. The portal will display all the vaccination centers near your place.
MapMyIndia.com is a website and an eponymous app is also available for Android-based smartphones and iPhones. You can choose to use any of these.
The website and app also work in collaboration with Google Maps. This means, you can simply key in the search words ‘Covid-19 centers near me” and see the results. They will show the nearest free and paid Covid-19 vaccination centers that’re near your location, starting with those at walking distance from your home or office.
To use this service, you will need to keep the location services on your computer and smartphone switched on at all times.
However, here too the problem would be that MapMyIndia.com or the app will display some of the temporary centers that’re no longer functioning. Therefore, it’s best to try and find government run and private hospitals where the Covid-19 vaccine is available.
The information about the nearest COVID vaccine centers, both private and state run are also available through the Indian government chatbot on WhatsApp.
To locate the nearest COVID-19 vaccination center, save the MyGov Covid-19 Helpdesk +919013151515 on your mobile phone.
Open your WhatsApp and send “Namaste” to this number. You will receive an automated message offering a list of services, including search for nearest vaccination centers.
You have to press the digit ‘1’ on the options given and the chatbot on WhatsApp will send you another option. Send ‘1’ once again to receive the latest list of Covid-19 vaccine centers near you.
However, to find the nearest Covid-19 vaccination center, you have to feed in your PIN code number in the chatbot on WhatsApp. For example, if your PIN number is 401101, you have to key in this and the chatbot will then display the latest information about where Covid-19 vaccinations are available.
Generally, this is a more reliable services since it comes from the Covid-19 helpdesk of the Indian government. This means, you will see the latest and temporary Covid-19 vaccine centers too in your area.
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You can try any of these four ways to find the nearest Covid-19 vaccine centers. In fact, some of them could be within walking distance too. You can also access the cowin.gov.in portal through the Arogya Setu app as well as Unified Mobile App for National Governance (UMANG) and find the nearest Covid-19 vaccine centers. And finally, find out from neighbors whether there’re any Covid-19 vaccine centers nearby because they could know about some temporary ones in your area.