India has decided that CoWin vaccination certificates for Indians going abroad, and those who are part of the Tokyo Olympic team will be linked to their passports. This rule is for those Indians who are going abroad for education, or work opportunities. In fact such people are permitted to take their second dose after 28 days.

The government has arrived at this decision after receiving requests from those who are going abroad for various reasons. Ideally, the Covishield vaccine is supposed to be taken after 84 days, but for those concerned, the gap has been reduced. CoWin will soon be equipped with a facility that will allow an early second dose in such exceptional cases.

A statement issued by the Union Health Ministry said, that the States and Union Territories have now been advised to publicise, and take measures to implement these SOPs immediately.

Covaxin norms however have not been decided yet as the World Health Organisation has not yet recognised it. Travelling internationally for those who have received the Covaxin vaccination is not going to be easy, so it is worrying for those going abroad for work or education.

As Europe opened its doors for summers, having vaccine certificates is of utmost importance for travellers. India has now taken the first step towards linking such a certificate with passports, starting with students, and working professionals going abroad. It is yet to be seen whether such an arrangement would be made for travellers as well.

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