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Overseas travellers spared from 9-month wait for booster

New Delhi: People travelling abroad can now take the Covid-19 precaution dose, before the end of their stipulated nine-month waiting period for the booster shot, if it is mandated in the guidelines of the destination country.
The Centre on Thursday relaxed the booster shot norms for overseas travellers. The move follows a recommendation made by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) seeking relaxation.
"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 Cowin portal," health minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted. Currently, only those adults who have completed a nine-month waiting period since the administration of the second dose of their Covid vaccine are eligible to receive a third or booster dose.
The ministry had received several representations seeking the precaution dose for those who have to travel abroad for employment, business commitments, admission to foreign educational institutions, participation in sports events and bilateral and multilateral meetings as part of India's official delegations.
"The issues were discussed at an NTAGI meeting held last week after which it recommending 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," an official said.
India began administering precaution doses of Covid vaccines to healthcare and frontline workers and those aged 60 years and above with comorbidities on January 10 this year. The comorbidity clause was removed in March making all people aged above 60 eligible for the precautionary dose of the Covid vaccine.
On April 10, India began administering precaution doses of Covid-19 vaccines to all aged above 18 years at private vaccinations centres.

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