The Maharashtra government has exempted those people who have got both the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from carrying a negative RT-PCR test report for entering the state, although there has to be a gap of at least 15 days between the second dose and the date of arrival.
An order to this effect was issued late night on Thursday by state chief secretary Sitaram Kunte.“A person entering the state should be vaccinated with both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 15 days should be lapsed since the administration of the second dose. That person should be in possession of the final vaccination certificate issued through the COWIN portal,” the order said.
"Such persons will be exempted from mandatory requirement of possessing a negative RT-PCR report on their entry into the state," it said.
This exemption is applicable to domestic as well as international travellers, it added.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
Despite the exemption order in place, all passengers irrespective of the status of vaccination must follow COVID-appropriate behaviour all the time, the order said.
The time interval of the validity of the RT-PCR test for all other persons will be 72 hours instead of 48 hours, it added.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.