In a key development, the Central Government on June 7 accorded permission to administer a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to people seeking to undertake international travel due to genuine reasons, prior to their completion of the currently mandated gap of 84 days between first and second dose.
The move aims to benefit people undertaking international travel for educational purposes, or who have taken up jobs in foreign countries, or Athletes, Sportspersons, and accompanying staff of Indian contingent for Tokyo Olympics Game.
The facilities will be available to those seeking to travel internationally for these specified purposes in the period up to August 31, 2021.
The detailed SOPs released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have asked states and UTs to designate a competent authority in each district to ensure that specific guidelines have been met for according permission for the administration of second dose of Covishield vaccine. The decision came following several requests received by the Ministry of Health to allow the administration of a second dose of COVID vaccine to people with exceptional cases.
Now let’s have a look in detail, at the SOPs that need to be checked by the competent authority before according permission for the administration of the second dose of Covid vaccine before the period of 84 days.
a. Whether a period of 28 days has been completed after the date of the first dose.
b. The competent authority to check the genuineness of the purpose of travel based on documents related to —
i. Admission Offers or associated formal communications
ii. Whether a person is already studying in a foreign educational institution and has to return to that institution for continuing their education.
iii. Interview calls for a job or offer letters for taking up employment.
iv. Nomination to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
c. The detailed SOPs released by the Central Government advised that vaccination may be availed in cases through Passport which is one of the permissible ID documents as per the current guidelines so that the passport number is printed in the 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 in the vaccination certificate and 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.
Current status of COVID vaccination drive:
Under the Central Government’s nationwide vaccination drive, more than 24 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far.
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