With a view to providing full coverage of vaccination and facilitating international travel for genuine reasons like seeking to undertake international travel for education purposes or employment opportunities or as part of India’s contingent for the Tokyo Olympic games, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued the SOPs for the same and reduced the intervals between the first and second dose of Covishield.
A government spokesman said that the Covishield was being manufactured by Serum Institute of India and approved by the DCGI and is one of the vaccines recognized by WHO( World Health Organization) for emergency use.
He said that as per the recommendation National Expert group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), the schedule of Covishield vaccine under National Covid-19 vaccination strategy is to administer the second dose at 12-16 weeks interval i.e. after 84 days after administration of the first dose.
However, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was in receipt of several representations from various quarters for people who are to undertake foreign travel in pursuit of their employment or educational matters and have taken the first dose of Covishield but whose planned dates of travel fall prior to completion of the currently mandated minimum interval of 84 days from the date of the first dose.
The spokesman said that as per the guidelines, permission for such administration of the second dose of Covishield will be given by concerned Chief Medical Officers in the State only after checking whether a period of 28 days has elapsed after the date of the first dose, genuineness of the purpose of travel based on documents related to whether a person is already studying in a foreign educational institution and has to return to that institution for continuing his/her education, interview calls for a job or offer letters for taking up employment, nomination to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
He further advised that vaccination should be availed in such cases through passport. This facility shall be available to those who need to undertake International travel for these specified purposes in the period up to August 31, 2021.
He said that all technical protocols as prescribed in the guidelines of the ministry regarding Covid vaccination centers and AEFI management etc. should have to be followed and the Cowin portal would soon provide the facility for the administration of the second dose in such exceptional cases.