Covishield Gap Reduced for Keralites Travelling Abroad, Govt to Issue Vaccine Docus with Passport Numbers

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The Kerala government on Friday decided to issue a Covid-19 vaccination certificate with passport numbers to those who require to travel abroad for purposes such as jobs or higher studies. According to the order, a person who took Covishield jab and wants to get travel clearance will be eligible for second dose after four to six weeks.

It is to be noted here that the central government had recently increased the gap between two jabs of Covishield to 12 to 16 weeks. Earlier, the two doses were meant to be administered four to six weeks apart.

“A person who took Covishield jab and wants to get travel clearance will be eligible for second dose of Covishield after 4 to 6 weeks. Since currently Covid-19 portal does not permit to administer the second dose of Covishield within a period of less than 12 weeks, this is to be recorded separately by the districts,” said the state government.

District Medical Officer is authorised as the competent authority to issue such certificate of vaccination in the prescribed format, the order stated.

“Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) has already cleared Covishield vaccine, the same may be given as preference to people travelling abroad. Covishield vaccine will be provided from the vaccine procured by the State,” the Kerala government said, adding that documents like live visa, admission document for students, job confirmation letter/work permit can be used to verify to ensure that the vaccines are given to the eligible persons.

In its letter earlier, Pinarayi Vijayan-led state government had apprised the Centre about the issues being faced by those travelling to foreign countries and stated that travellers require certificates with passport numbers as many nations only accept the certificate of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Covishield vaccine is developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca and manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).

In the order, the Kerala health department said, “All the issues were brought into the notice of Government of India to make provisions in CoWIN for permission to include passport details in CoWIN. It was also requested to give permission to the State Government to issue vaccination certificate with changes till provisions are made available in CoWIN. Further, it was requested to permit beneficiaries going abroad to take Covishield as per the previous schedule of 4–6 weeks and to make provisions in the CoWIN portal to document such vaccination given at 4 -6 weeks. However, no orders/letters are received from Government of India so far. In the above circumstances, Government has issued these directions.”

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