In a key development, the Central government on Monday issued SOPs to be followed for the administration of COVID vaccines and, in particular, the second dose of vaccination, to people who are scheduled to undertake international travel prior to completion of the currently mandated minimum interval of 84 days from the date of the first dose. This comes after the government received requests from many seeking to undertake international travel for studies, employment, or participation in India's Contingent for Tokyo Olympic Games.
#LargestVaccineDrive— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) June 7, 2021
➡️ Centre issues SOPs for #COVID19 #Vaccination of persons undertaking international travel for educational purposes/employment opportunities/as part of India's contingent for Tokyo #Olympic games.https://t.co/dYnoz1FtzO pic.twitter.com/y85CzzqRjj
The notification released by the central government stated, "Based on the recommendations by 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 2nd dose at 12-16 weeks interval (i.e. after 84 days), after administration of 1st dose."
"With the receipt of several representations for allowing administration of the second dose of Covishield for such persons who have only taken the first dose of Covishield and are seeking to undertake international travel for educational purposes or employment opportunities or for participation in India's Contingent for Tokyo Olympic Games, but whose planned travel dates fall prior to completion of the currently mandated minimum interval of 84 days from the date of the first dose, the issue was discussed in Empowered Group 5 (EG-5) and appropriate recommendations have been received in this context," it further added.
With a view to providing full coverage of vaccination and facilitating international travel for such genuine reasons, the government has directed that the following procedure will be followed for the administration of a second dose of the Covishield vaccine for such beneficiaries- Students who have to undertake foreign travel for the purposes of education, persons who have to take up jobs in foreign countries and athletes, sportspersons and accompanying staff of Indian contingent attending International Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo.
States/UT Governments have been directed to designate a competent authority in each district for according permission for such administration of the second dose of Covishield.The competent authority has been asked to check the following before according permission for the administration of the second dose before the period of 84 days after the date of the first dose —
It is pertinent to mention here that 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.