The Centre on Thursday allowed citizens travelling abroad to take the precaution dose of the Covid-19 vaccine before the stipulated nine-month waiting period after the second jab.
The Union health ministry’s decision to relax the norm was based on a recommendation by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).
“Indian citizens and 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 Co-WIN portal,” Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.
Now, all those above 18 who have completed nine months after the second dose are eligible for the precaution jab. The health ministry had received representations seeking the precaution dose for those who have to travel abroad for employment, business commitments, admission to foreign educational institutes, participating in sports events and meetings.
“The issue was discussed in a meeting of NTAGI held last week after which it recommended that those who need to travel overseas can take the booster shot, before the stipulated nine-month waiting period, as per the booster guidelines of the country they are travelling to,” a source had said.
India began administering precaution doses of Covid vaccines to healthcare and frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities from January 10 this year.
The comorbidity clause was removed in March making all people aged above 60 eligible for the precaution dose of Covid vaccine.
On April 10, India began administering precaution doses of Covid-19 vaccines to all above 18 years at private vaccination centres.