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As part of the fresh guidelines for Covid-19 vaccination, the Centre on Monday said those travelling abroad for education, jobs, or as part of the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympic games, will have to get their CoWIN vaccination certificates linked to their passport.

These people can also take the second Covid-19 vaccine dose after 28 days, the government said today.

The Co-WIN system will soon provide the facility for the administration of the second dose in such exceptional cases, the ministry said.

Asking states to facilitate vaccination of such people, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement, "Taking note of the several representations received by the Union Health Ministry 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 as part of 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 Union Health Ministry has also issued SOPs in this regard "States/UTs have been advised to widely publicise and take all necessary measures to immediately implement these SOPs," it added.

The SOPs are as follows:

At present, based on the recommendations by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), the schedule of the Covishield vaccine under the 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 a 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 first dose, the issue was discussed in Empowered Group 5 (EG-5) and appropriate recommendations have been received in this context.

With a view to providing full coverage of vaccination and facilitating international travel for such genuine reasons, the following procedure shall be followed for the administration of the second dose of the Covishield vaccine for such beneficiaries.

This special dispensation will be available to —

  • Students who have to undertake foreign travel for the purposes of education.
  • Persons who have to take up jobs in foreign countries.
  • Athletes, sportspersons and accompanying staff of Indian contingent attending International Olympic Games be held in Tokyo.
  • States/UTs shall designate a competent authority in each district for according permission for such administration of the second dose of Covishield.

The competent authority shall check the following —

  • 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 —

i. Admission Offers or associated formal communications for the of education.

ii. Whether a person is already studying 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.

  • It is 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.
  • This facility shall be available to those who need to undertake international travel for these specified purposes in the period up to 31 August, 2021.
  • All technical protocols as prescribed in the Guidelines of the Ministry regarding Covid Vaccination Centres and AEFI management, etc. shall have to be followed.

The new rules also said that mentioning of vaccine-type as "Covishield" is sufficient and no other qualifying entries are required in the vaccination certificates.

The CoWIN system will soon provide the facility for the administration of the second dose in such exceptional cases, the statement read.

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