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COVID vaccine rules revised for global travel in special cases. (Photo: Pixabay)

Going abroad for job or study? Govt revises vaccine rules

Those who are going abroad for education or jobs and are part of India’s contingent for the Tokyo Olympic Games will be allowed to take the second dose of Covishield after 28 days of their first shot. The govt has revises the vaccine rules. The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued fresh SOPs in this regard which have been conveyed to states/UTs.

At present, based on the recommendations by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC), the schedule of the Covishield vaccine under the National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy is to administer the second dose at 12-16 weeks interval after administration of 1st dose. 

According to the Ministry, states/UT governments will designate a competent authority in each district to allow the administration of vaccines in these special cases. The authority will check the following details:

  1. Whether a period of 28 days has elapsed after the first dose. 
  2. Genuineness of the purpose of travel based on documents related to admission offers or education or job offers or participation in the Olympics.
  3. A passport number must be printed on the vaccination certificate. If 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 on the vaccination certificate. If necessary, the competent authority may issue another certificate linking the vaccination certificate with the passport number of the beneficiary. 
  4. This facility shall be available to those who need to undertake international travel for these specified purposes in the period up to 31st August 2021.

Covishield, produced by the Serum Institute of India and approved by the DCGI, is one of the vaccines by the WHO for use as of 3 June 2021.

Thus, a mention of vaccine-type as “Covishield” is sufficient and no other qualifying entries are required in the vaccination certificates.

The Ministry also informed that the CoWIN system will soon provide the facility for the administration of the second dose in such exceptional cases.

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