Foreign nationals now eligible for vaccination in India

Foreign nationals residing in India are now eligible to take Covid-19 vaccines in India, the Union health ministry announced on Monday. In order to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in India, foreign nationals will have to register themselves on the government’s CoWIN platform using their passports as proof of identity. Once registered, they will get a slot for vaccination, the ministry stated.

The change in vaccination policy, the ministry said, was taken to ensure that all persons in the country are vaccinated to break the chain of transmission. This initiative will protect foreign nationals from Covid while also bringing down the “possibilities of further transfer of infection from unvaccinated persons residing in India”, as per the government. Hence, it will be a step in the direction of overall safety from the virus for everyone living in India. Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted about the development. He wrote, “Together we fight, together we win.” India’s national Covid-19 vaccination programme has been operating since January 2021. So far, more than 51 crore vaccine doses have been administered across the country. In the first phase, all health care workers were eligible to take the shot that was later extended to front line workers on February 2. Gradually, the facility was extended to citizens above 60 and those above 45 years who suffered from 20-specified co-morbidities. All citizens aged 18 years and above are now eligible to get vaccinated.