New Delhi: The Centre announced on Monday (June 7, 2021) that it will prioritize the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to people traveling abroad for educational or employment purposes.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare wrote to States and UTs, requesting that the second dose of Covishield be administered to people who had only taken the first dose and whose planned travel dates fell before the completion of the currently mandated minimum interval of 84 days between two doses.
The Centre issued guidelines in this regard, and states were advised to widely publicise and take all necessary steps to implement these SOPs as soon as possible.
Before granting permission for the administration of the second dose within 84 days of the date of the first dose, the competent authority will review the following:
1. Whether a period of 28 days has elapsed since the first dose.
2. The genuineness of the travel purpose as evidenced by documents related to —
i. Admission offers or other formal education communications.
ii. Whether a person is already enrolled in a foreign educational institution and must return there to continue their education.
iii. Job interview invitations or offer letters for employment.
3. It is recommended that vaccinations be obtained in cases where the passport is one of the permissible ID documents under current guidelines, as the passport number will be printed on the certificate. If the Passport was not used at the time of the first dose, the details of the photo ID card used for vaccination will be printed on the vaccination certificate, and the inclusion of the Passport in the vaccination certificate is not required. If necessary, the competent authority may issue another certificate linking the vaccination certificate to the beneficiary’s passport number.
4. This facility will be available to those who require international travel for the above-mentioned purposes between August 31, 2020, and August 31, 2021.
5. All technical protocols outlined in the Ministry’s Guidelines for COVID Vaccination Centers and AEFI Management, among other things, must be followed.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, mentioning the vaccine type as Covishield is sufficient, and no other qualifying entries in vaccination certificates are required.
It also stated that in such exceptional cases, the Cowin system will soon allow for the administration of a second dose.