People seeking to undertake foreign travel for educational purposes, for employment opportunities or who are on India’s contingent to the Tokyo Olympic Games, can now get their second jab of Covishield vaccination after 28 days as compared with the earlier mandated gap of 84 days, according to guidelines issued by the Health Ministry on Monday.
This facility is available to those who need to travel abroad for the above-mentioned purposes up to August 31. Also, vaccination certificates of such travellers will be linked to their passports.
According to the government, the second dose of vaccine may be availed of on producing one’s passport, which is one of the permissible ID documents for inoculation, so that the passport number can be printed on the vaccination certificate.
“If the passport was not used at the time of administration of the first dose, the details of the photo ID Card used for vaccination will be printed in the vaccination certificate; in this case mention of the passport in the vaccination certificate is not to be insisted upon. Wherever necessary, the competent authority may issue another certificate linking the vaccination certificate with the passport number of the beneficiary,” the guidelines said.
Besides this, the government clarified that Covishield produced by the Serum Institute of India and approved by the Drugs Controller General of India is one of the vaccines approved for use by the WHO.
“Mention of vaccine type as ‘Covishield’ is sufficient, and no other qualifying entries are required in the vaccination certificate. The CoWIN system will soon provide the facility for administration of second dose in such exceptional cases,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, all the States/UTs have been directed to designate a competent authority in each district to accord permission for administering the second dose of Covishield. It will examine whether the period of 28 days has lapsed, genuineness of the foreign travel, based on formal documents related to admission offer, continuation of education in foreign country, interview calls, offer letters and nomination to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The guidelines come after the government received several representations to allow permission for the second dose before the mandatory gap of 84 days on account of their scheduled travel for education, job or for participation in India’s Contingent for the Tokyo Olympic. The issue was discussed in the Empowered Group 5 (EG-5) and appropriate recommendations were received in this context.
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