Guwahati: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has recommended a change in the dosing interval of the Covishield vaccine in specific categories.
From now on, the gap between two doses of Covishield vaccine has been reduced from 84 days to 28 days, which means, people who have undertaken the first shot of the vaccine and are seeking international travel (for employment/education/part of the Olympics contingent) will be allowed to get fully vaccinated and get the second dose before the 84-day mandate rule if their travel dates fall before the stipulated timeline.
Through a press statement earlier, the ministry said the matter was discussed by the Empowered Group 5 (one of the six groups formed last year to monitor the Covid response) and “appropriate recommendations” were received for allowing the administration of the second dose of Covishield to those who need to travel abroad for the specified reasons, but whose planned travel dates are earlier than the mandatory 84-day interval between the two doses. This special concession 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 the International Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo…,” the statement said.
It may also be mentioned that the ministry has clearly specified that the facility will be available for travel up to August 31 this year.
According to current guidelines, all states have been directed to designate a competent authority in each district to allow the expedited second dose. They will have to ensure that there is a minimum gap of 28 days between the two doses and the purpose of travel is genuine. Documents pertaining to admission offers from universities abroad, job offer letters, or nomination papers to participate in the Olympics will be verified.