India relaxes booster dose rules for overseas travelers

New Delhi:  Indians going abroad can take the booster dose against COVID-19 if needed under the guidelines of the destination nation, the center said Thursday.

“Indian citizens and students traveling 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,” Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya posted on homegrown microblogging website Koo.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, NTAGI, had also sought a booster dose as required by the destination country for Indians traveling abroad before the nine-month gap between the second dose and the booster jab.

However, no recommendation has been made by the NTAGI over reducing the gap from nine to six months for everybody. As of now, all those above 18 years who have completed nine months after the second dose are eligible for the booster jab, which the government calls a precaution dose.

The Health Ministry received several representations seeking the booster dose for those who have to go abroad for jobs, admissions, sports, and meetings as part of India’s official delegations.

Anyone above the age of 18 is eligible for the booster doses that are available at various private centers. The precaution dose needs to be of the same vaccine which has been used for the administration of the first and the second dose, as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) had instructed.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) in April had announced its decision to revise the price of their COVID-19 vaccine Covishield for private hospitals from Rs 600 to Rs 225 per dose, after which Bharat Biotech, which manufactures Covaxin, also slashed its pricing to Rs 225 from Rs 1,200.

Image courtesy of (Image Courtesy: India TV News)

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