NEW DELHI, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The Indian government on Thursday announced reduction of the gap for COVID-19 booster dose for its citizens travelling abroad.
Under this new directive, Indian citizens and students travelling abroad can soon take the third precautionary dose of the vaccine against the pandemic as per the travel guidelines of the destination country.
"Indian citizens and students travelling overseas can now take the precaution dose as required by the guidelines of the destination country. This new facility will be available soon on the CoWIN portal," federal health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a brief statement.
CoWIN portal is the Indian government's COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network.
Last month India's federal health ministry announced that those above the age of 18 years who had completed nine months after the administration of the second vaccine dose would be eligible for the precaution or booster dose.
However, it said the facility would be paid and shall be available at private vaccination centers.
The first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were provided free of charge to the eligible population across India at government hospitals.
The National Capital Territory of Delhi and the states of Bihar and Haryana have made booster doses available free of charge for the eligible population at government-run hospitals. ■