Indian students in the United Kingdom who have received two doses of AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine will be able to get a booster shot, as per the new protocol announced by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
These vaccines can be accessed at a walk-in centre since people whose primary doses are not recorded in the system in England are unable to book an appointment for boosters through the UK’s National Booking System at present.
UK sources told NDTV that work is also ongoing to expand the range of vaccinations that can be recorded in the vaccination system.
To be considered fully vaccinated, Indian students looking for a booster shot need to prove that they have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) and the country they were vaccinated in must appear on the list on the website gov.uk.
The announcement comes after Britain ramped up some restrictions in recent days to contain the spread of the omicron Covid-19 variant and launched an ambitious booster shot programme. The country’s medical advisers raised the Covid Alert Level due to a “rapid increase” in infection from the variant, even as the first death due to Omicron was reported today.
The UK PM on Sunday warned of a looming “tidal wave” of Omicron, and brought forward a target to give over-18s a booster jab by one month to the end of December. He called the spread of the mutation “an emergency”, as Omicron was doubling every two to three days.
The vaccines presently acceptable in the United Kingdom include Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen (J&J) for the purposes of international travel. This also includes specific formulations such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda.
AstraZeneca’s Covishield was approved by the UK for travel purposes in September after a long delay triggered a controversy and India had to warn of reciprocal measures.
(With inputs from agencies)