Passports of students, those working abroad to be linked with vaccination certificate
The government has asked states/UTs to set uprelevant authorities to oversee vaccination process
The Union government on Monday directed states and union territories to set up a designated authority across districts to facilitate the administration of the second dose of Covishield COVID-19 vaccine before the mandatory minimum interval of 84 days for individuals seeking international travel for employment opportunities, educational reasons and those participating in India’s contingent for Tokyo Olympic games.
Issuing standard operating procedures (SOPs) in this regard, the Union Health Ministry also noted that vaccination would be provided in such cases by linking their CoWin certificates to their passports.
The Centre has advised people to receive the vaccine through their Passport such that the passport number is printed on their vaccination certificate. In case the passport was not used at the time of first dose, state/UT authorities have been asked to issue another certificate linking the passport number to the vaccination certificate for these groups if needed.
“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,” the SOPs added.
With this development, these groups can receive the second Covishield dose 28 days after taking the first dose for international travel purposes. The ministry added that the CoWin platform will be making necessary arrangements to facilitate the administration of second vaccine dose within 28 days in such exceptional scenarios.
The competent authorities set up by states/UTs will also review the genuineness of the purpose of foreign travel and whether a period of 28 days has elapsed from the date of first vaccine dose.
In addition, citizens travelling abroad for educational reasons are required to present their admission offers or other related formal communications from foreign institutions. The competent authority will also affirm if the individual is already studying in a foreign educational institute and is returning to continue their education.
Those travelling for employment have been asked to present interview call details for the job or offer letters from their employer abroad.
Furthermore, athletes, coaches and other accompanying staff participating in the Indian contingent for Tokyo Olympics are required to present nomination documents and other related papers to receive the second vaccine dose.
The Centre has also clarified that SOPs are issued only for Covishield vaccine, noting that the time interval between the two doses was earlier increased from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks. However, the time interval for two doses of COVAXIN vaccine 4-6 weeks will remain the same.
On Tuesday, Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul said that the government has placed an order for 25 crore Covishield doses and 19 crore Covaxindoses with the aim of boosting the vaccination efforts across the country. Addressing the public on Monday, PM Modi announced free vaccination for all 18+ from June 21.