India Reduces Gap For Getting Booster Dose For Those Travelling Abroad

For those travelling abroad, India will follow the booster dose policy of the destination country.

Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, tweeted that the government was reducing the gap of the booster/ precaution dose from the mandated nine month gap for those citizens travelling abroad.

The Ministry reached this conclusion after much deliberation with the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation which advises them on COVID immunisation.

India will now follow the rules and guidelines prescribed by the country the citizen intends to travel to. This facility will be incorporated within the CoWin portal, the Minister tweeted.

India initiated the use of booster shots in January 2022 with the caveat that the gap between the second and third COVID vaccine dose should be at least nine months.

In January, health workers and those above the age of 60 could avail the booster shot. For others above 18, the government initiated booster doses from April 10 but only at private centres.

India's change in booster dose policy is to adhere to strict vaccination mandates in several countries abroad.

For example, Israel permits only those who have taken the second dose no more than six months (180 days) before travelling, or received a booster shot to enter the country.

Several countries in the European Union such as Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Portugal, Switzerland allow travellers and students who took the second dose or the booster dose in the last 270 days before travelling to enter the country.

Other countries like UK, US, Australia only require travellers to have completed the two dose regimen.

With this change in norms, India is making it easier for those who are travelling to other countries for employment, business commitments, admission to foreign educational institutes, participating in sports events, and bilateral and multilateral meetings as part of India's official delegation to continue their journeys smoothly.

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