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COVID-19: Centre eases Covishield gap for some beneficiaries - All you need to know

The Co-WIN system will soon provide the facility for the administration of the second dose of the Covisheild Covid-19 vaccine in such exceptional cases.

June 10, 2021 / 12:56 PM IST
This facility shall be available to those who need to undertake international travel for these specified purposes in the period up to August 31. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado - RC2SJN9VMM9S

This facility shall be available to those who need to undertake international travel for these specified purposes in the period up to August 31. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado - RC2SJN9VMM9S

The Centre recently revised SOP for the administration of the second dose of the Covishield COVID-19 vaccine for certain categories. The new SOP will allow certain categories, including students intending to undertake international travel for education purposes, to take the second dose of Covishield prior to the prescribed time interval of 84 days.

Presently, the second dose of Covishield is being administered at 12-16 weeks interval (i.e. after 84 days), after the first shot.

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The Union health ministry said, even in these cases, the second dose will only be administered after 28 days from the date of the first dose.

People allowed to take the second dose of Covishield before 84 days:

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Students who have to undertake foreign travel for the purposes of education.

Persons who have to take up jobs in foreign countries.

Athletes, sportspersons, and accompanying staff of Indian contingent attending International Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo.

The Co-WIN system will soon provide the facility for the administration of the second dose in such exceptional cases, the ministry said.

The ministry has issued the SOPs according to which the states shall designate a competent authority in each district to grant permission for such administration of the second dose of Covishield.

The competent authority shall check whether a period of 28 days has elapsed after the date of the first dose and the genuineness of the purpose of travel, based on documents related to admission offers or the associated formal communications for the purpose of education, the SOP read.

It will also check whether a person is already studying in a foreign educational institution and has to return to that institution for continuing his or her education, interview calls for a job or offers letters for taking up employment and the nomination to participate in the Tokyo Olympic games, before according the permission for the administration of the second dose.

The ministry advised that vaccination may be availed in such cases through a passport, which is one of the permissible ID documents according to the current guidelines so that the passport number is printed in the vaccination certificate.

However, if the passport was not used at the time of the administration of the first dose, the details of the photo ID card used for vaccination will be printed on the vaccination certificate and a mention of the passport number in the vaccination certificate is not to be insisted upon, the SOPs stated.

Wherever necessary, the competent authority may issue another certificate linking the vaccination certificate with the passport number of the beneficiary, it stated.

A mention of the vaccine type as “Covishield” is sufficient and no other qualifying entries are required in the vaccination certificates. This facility shall be available to those who need to undertake international travel for these specified purposes in the period up to August 31.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 10, 2021 12:55 pm

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