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Second dose of Covishield after 28 days for those going abroad: Punjab health minister

Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that the Punjab government has taken up the issue with the Government of India (GoI) several times to reduce the prescribed time of second dose of Covishield to facilitate international travellers, especially students.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
June 9, 2021 6:05:42 am
Balbir Singh Sidhu

Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu Tuesday said that now the second dose of Covishield vaccine will be administered after 28 days to those people who intend to undertake international travel for specific purposes.

He said that the Punjab government has taken up the issue with the Government of India (GoI) several times to reduce the prescribed time of second dose of Covishield to facilitate international travellers, especially students.

He said that it was unfortunate that due to lack of full vaccination coverage, students could not go overseas for their studies even after paying the hefty fees. The students and their parents repeatedly urged the Punjab government to reduce the gap between both doses of Covishield.

Sidhu said that finally, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) has issued the recommendations on the Prescribed Time Interval (after 28 days but before 84 days) for administration of second dose of Covishield vaccine and under it, the students who have to undertake foreign travel will be considered as eligible beneficiaries.

Similarly, persons who have to take up jobs in foreign countries, athletes, sportspersons and the accompanying staff of the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics will also be given jabs.

He said that these instructions have been issued to all Deputy Commissioners.

He said that a competent authority designated by the district administration shall check each case before granting permission for administration of a second dose before the period of 84 days. He said that the vaccination certificate may be issued by the District Immunisation Officer. These SoPs are applicable for international travel for these specified purposes in the period up to 31st August, 2021.

He clarified that these SoPs have been issued specifically for Covishield only because the interval between its two doses was increased from six-eight weeks to 12-16 weeks. The period for Covaxin remains the same (four-six weeks).

Giving the schedule of expected delivery of vaccines directly procured by the state government for 18-44 age group, he said that 1.56 lakh doses of Covishield are expected to reach on June 11, then 1.30 lakh doses will reach on June 17, further 1.56 lakh doses will reach on June 19 and 1.32 lakh doses on July 1.

Similarly, 25,000 doses of Covaxin are expected to be delivered on June 20, then 12,000 doses on June 23 and 19,370 doses on June 28.

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