The Kerala Health Department revised vaccination guidelines for persons travelling abroad on Friday, enabling them to receive a second dose of Covishield vaccine four to six weeks after the first, rather than the previously suggested 12- to 16-week delay.
Kerala’s Health Minister, Veena George, said the state had brought difficulties affecting foreign-bound passengers to the attention of the Centre, requesting that it grant them a waiver in administering the second dose of Covishield. She explained that the state administration decided to move forward despite the lack of instructions from the federal government. The state administration announced this week that persons travelling overseas for work or study will be among the priority categories for immunisation, with Covishield bought by the government.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation also declared on Friday that people going overseas for education will be given priority for Covid-19 immunisation among those aged 18 to 44. The municipal corporation has set aside three days during the week (Monday to Wednesday) for their vaccination at designated centres in Mumbai without pre-registration.
The BMC added in a late-night announcement that students with documentation of confirmed acceptance to foreign colleges or the required international visa, as well as lactating women, the specially abled, and senior people, will be given priority at vaccination centres.
Shots for the 18-44 age range have been delayed at BMC centres due to a vaccination shortage. Vaccines are available at several private hospitals in Mumbai, but only with prior appointment.