New Delhi: The COWIN website on Wednesday started COVID-19 vaccine registration for people between the age of 18 and 44 years. The registration process began at 4 pm with reports of initial hiccup of OTP delay and server crash surfaced. But later, the glitches were rectified, and 3.5 million people registered in one hour. However, several users found no hospitals offering vaccines to people below the age of 45 years. RS Sharma, National Health Authority CEO, clarified why this is happening and when people will be able to book appointments.Also Read - SII's Covid Vaccine Covovax Now Available for 12-17 Age Group at Private Centres

Speaking to news agency ANI, Sharma said, “Some States and hospitals may come on board on May 1 or later, therefore, the visibility into the bookings/vacancy available for vaccination will be available when States, hospitals come on board.” Also Read - Centre’s Decision on Mix-and-match COVID Booster Doses Likely Soon

“We will continue to announce as and when States come on board. We will provide information in public. The advice to people is that you log in and get an appointment only when you see vacancies available,” he further added. Also Read - Vaccination for 12-15 Age Group, Precaution Dose for People Above 60 yrs Begins

Appointments at state government centers and private centers will depend on how many vaccination centers are ready on May 1 for vaccination of those above 18 years of age. The government had liberalized its vaccination policy after an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Sharma said they were ready and geared up for large number of registrations. “We had a test registration of about 5 million people in a day on the registration platform. Maybe the number will be double that after registrations are open. We are ready for it,” Sharma said.