The concept of vaccine passports is not exactly new. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, certain countries demanded that visitors be inoculated against specific diseases before entering their territory.
On Monday, June 7, the Centre said that students and professionals going abroad for their education and jobs, and those part of the country's Tokyo Olympics contingent will have to link their vaccination certificates with their passports. The health ministry also clarified that these beneficiaries will be able to take the second dose of Covishield vaccine after 28 days, reported Scroll.
They do not need to wait for the mandated 84-day interval. The facility will be available to those belonging to these categories and going abroad till August 31.
Last month, the Centre increased the gap between the two does of Covidshield from the suggested six-eight weeks to a mandated 12 weeks. But with these new exceptions, eligible students, workers, and athletes, on producing a valid passport and other documentary proof will be able to shorten the gap. The vaccine certificate in such cases will also include the beneficiaries' passport numbers, reported Quartz India.
'Vaccine Passport Discriminatory'
India has firmly opposed the adoption of vaccine passports. Last week, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan expressed his disagreements over vaccine passports. At a health ministers' meeting of the G7 countries, where India was invited as a guest, he opposed the adoption of COVID vaccine passports and termed it discriminatory.
The minister contended that such a policy would put developed nations at an advantage.