Students and those travelling abroad for jobs or as part of the Indian contingent for Tokyo Olympic Games can take the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Covishield after 28 days, the Centre said on Monday.

Following several representations that the Union health Ministry received for allowing administration of second dose of Covishield for such persons who have only taken first dose of Covishield and are seeking to undertake international travel for educational purposes or employment opportunities or as part of India’s contingent for Tokyo Olympic games, but whose planned travel dates fall prior to completion of the currently mandated minimum interval of 84 days from the date of first dose, Union Health Ministry has written to States/UTs to facilitate vaccination of such persons. The Ministry on Monday issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) in this regard which have been conveyed to States/UTs.

These facilities will be available to those who need to undertake international travel for these specified purposes in the period up to August 31, 2021.

As per the revised rules, the facility will be available to those who need to undertake international travel for the specified purposes till August 31 this year, and the mention of the vaccine type as “Covishield” is sufficient and “no other qualifying entries are required,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Who all are eligible to take an early second dose of vaccine?

  • Students who have to undertake foreign travel for the purposes of education.
  • Individuals taking up jobs in foreign countries.
  • Athletes, sportspersons and accompanying staff of the Indian contingent attending the International Olympic Games be held in Tokyo.


The Centre in its SOP advised that vaccination may be availed as ID documents as per the current guidelines so that the passport number is printed in the Certificate. If Passport was not used at the time of administration of first dose, the details of the photo ID Card used for vaccination will be printed in the vaccination certificate and mention of the Passport in the vaccination certificate is not to be insisted upon.

Wherever necessary, the competent authority may issue another certificate linking the vaccination certificate with the passport number of the beneficiary, it said.

The Centre said mention of the vaccine type as “Covishield” is sufficient and no other qualifying entries are required in the vaccination certificates.

The CoWIN system will soon provide the facility for the administration of second dose in such exceptional cases, it added.