Covid Booster dose gap reduced to 3 months for those travelling overseas

Covid Booster dose gap reduced to 3 months for those travelling overseas

Indian citizens can take a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine three months after the second dose if they are set to fly abroad. On Thursday, the government announced that reducing the gap for the so-called precaution doses to allow international travelers to meet conditions imposed by several countries.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the Co-WIN platform would be tweaked to allow people to book the third doses under the new rules shortly,

While government officials aware of the matter said, no proof of travel will be required for those seeking the third dose.

The decision comes when the uptake for the booster dose — all adults are eligible for it nine months after their second dose — has been slow, and there are fears that amounts may be wasted.

Senior official said

“No list of countries is shortlisted (by the government); it will be available for all the countries, even if not required by a particular country,”

Covid Booster dose gap reduced to 3 months for those travelling overseas 1unsplash image

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The central government is aware of the matter, on condition of anonymity, adding that the mandatory gap will now be only three months.

official added

“No proofs [of travel] are required to book a slot on Co-WIN or at the Covid vaccination centres,”

Several countries require people to have taken booster doses before arriving from abroad. Most of the European Union region sets the cut-off at nine months: people must have taken Covid-19 vaccines in the last 270 days to be allowed to arrive. People would need to be boosted in Israel if their last shot was more than 180 days ago.

The current rule on the type of doses will continue. People will be eligible for the same dose of a vaccine as the first two for their booster. Mix and match policy decisions are likely to be based on clinical trial data. CMC Vellore is currently working on a trial with Covaxin and Covishield vaccines, and the results are expected to be submitted to the central drugs standard control organization soon.

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