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International flyers to be prioritised for vaccination under Centre's new SOP

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International flyers to be prioritised for vaccination under Centres new SOP
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New Delhi: Considering the need for vaccination for people to travel abroad for various purposes, including education, employment and for India's contingent to Tokyo Olympic Games, the Centre has issued revised standard operating procedures (SOP) for COVID vaccination.

Priority will be given to people for vaccination in accordance with their personal emergency that the above-mentioned purposes have also been included in the new SOP.

However, the second dose of Covishield will only be administered after 28 days from the date of the first dose.

Several students, sportspersons and job seekers had petitioned the government for faster vaccination to help them travel abroad to meet their education, job or sporting event calendar.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that it has written to states/UTs to facilitate vaccination of persons 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 Ministry said that with the receipt of several representations, the issue was discussed in Empowered Group 5 (EG-5) and appropriate recommendations received in this context.

According to the ministry, to provide full vaccination and facilitate international travel for these segments of people, states and Union Territories were asked to designate a competent authority in each district for according permission for such administration of the second dose of Covishield.

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 offers letters for taking up employment.

iv. Nomination to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The ministry said that 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 the 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," it said, adding that wherever necessary, the competent authority may issue another certificate linking the vaccination certificate with the passport number of the beneficiary.

The ministry said that the facility shall be available to those who need to undertake international travel for these specified purposes in the period up to August 31.

The government also clarified that Covishield, produced by the Serum Institute of India and approved by the DCGI, is one of the vaccines by the WHO for use as of June 3, 2021. The relevant entry is at serial number 4 of the WHO EUL.

"Mention of vaccine-type as Covishield is sufficient and no other qualifying entries are required in the vaccination certificates," it said. It further said that the CoWIN system will soon provide the facility for the administration of 2nd dose in such exceptional cases.

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TAGS:Covid vaccine 
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