India reduces gap between second Covid shot, booster dose for those travelling abroad

Indian citizens and students travelling abroad can soon take the third precautionary dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 as per the travel guidelines of the destination country, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced Thursday.

“Indian citizens & students travelling overseas can now take the precaution dose as required by the guidelines of the destination country. This new facility will be available soon on the CoWIN portal,” tweeted Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

At present, in India, the third precaution dose of Covid-19 vaccines has been made available to the 18+ population groups at private vaccination centres. However, according to the current guidelines, only those adults who have completed nine months after the administration of the second dose would be eligible for the precaution dose.

However, with Thursday’s decision, Indians travelling abroad don’t need to wait for nine months after the administration of the second dose to access the precautionary dose.

According to the official data, 12.21 lakh in the 18-59 age group have received the precautionary dose available at the private vaccination centres. Also, the country administered 2.89 crore precautionary doses to the priority groups—frontline workers, healthcare workers, and the elderly population above the age of 60 years. The precautionary dose for the priority group is available for free at the government vaccination centres.

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