New Delhi: Those travelling abroad for jobs, education and business purposes can take the precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine anytime after three months from the second dose as required by the destination country, the Centre said on Friday, a day after it relaxed the stipulated nine-month waiting period for international travel.
In a letter to states and union territories, the Centre said necessary provisions have been made on the Co-WIN portal to enable updation of the precaution dose so administered and citizens will not be required to upload documents such as visa.
The Health Ministry received several requests for the early administration of precaution dose to those who need to undertake international travel for educational purpose, employment opportunities, participation in sports tournaments, attending bilateral and multilateral meetings as part of India's official delegation, and business commitments, Additional Secretary in the ministry Manohar Agnani said.
In this context, to facilitate international travel for such genuine reasons, the necessary provision of early administration of precaution dose for these travellers has been done on the Co-WIN portal under the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Agnani said in the guidelines shared by him.
Based on the recommendations of experts, the competent authority has approved early administration of precaution dose as required by the destination country for these overseas travellers, subject to a minimum period of 90 days between the second dose and the precaution dose.
"The necessary provisions for the same have been made on Co-WIN," Agnani stated.
"It is requested that the guidelines may be widely publicised to all government and private CVCs and for general public and all necessary measures be taken immediately for the implementation of the same," he said.
Currently, healthcare workers, frontline workers and citizens aged 60 years and above who are fully vaccinated (with two doses) and have completed nine months (39 weeks) after the second dose are eligible to take the precaution dose at any of the government or private COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs).
Citizens aged 18 years and more but less than 60 years are allowed to take the precaution dose only at private CVCs on a payment basis. It can be also availed at government CVCs in a few states, based on the respective state's notification, the letter mentioned.
The vaccine administered as a precaution dose is a homologous vaccine that is the same which has been administered as first and second doses.
All technical protocols as prescribed in the guidelines regarding vaccination centres and adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) management will have to be followed, the guidelines added.