Foreign nationals residing in India are now eligible to receive Covid-19 vaccination in India, the government announced on 9 August.
Like other eligible beneficiaries, foreign nationals can register on CoWin platform to get the shot, and their passport will be considered as the document to verify their identity.
“In a landmark initiative to ensure safety from Covid-19, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken a decision to allow foreign nationals residing in India to get registered on CoWin portal to take the Covid-19 vaccine. They can use their passport as identity document for the purpose of registration on CoWin portal. Once they are registered on this portal, they will get a slot for vaccination,” said the health ministry in a statement.
Office of Union health minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, tweeted regarding the development.
“Together We Fight, Together We Win Clapping hands sign Govt has now allowed foreign nationals residing in India to register on CoWin portal and take # Covid-19 vaccine. This will ensure overall safety from the transmission of the virus,” read the tweet.
India started the Covid-19 vaccination drive on 16 January this year; to begin with, in the first phase, all health care workers were eligible to take the shot that was later extended to front line workers on 2 February. Gradually, the facility was extended to citizens above 60 and those above 45 years who suffered from 20-specified co-morbidities.
On 19 April, the central government announced that it will open up Covid-19 vaccination for everyone 18 years and above from 1 May as part of a liberalised and accelerated phase 3 strategy of Covid-19 vaccination in the country. The decision was taken in a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“A significant number of foreign nationals are living in India, especially in large metropolitan areas. In these areas, the potential of spread of Covid-19 is high due to higher population density. To counter any possibility of such occurrence, it is important to vaccinate all eligible persons,” read the health ministry release.
The ministry said that this initiative will ensure the safety of foreign nationals residing in India. It will bring down the possibilities of further transfer of infection from unvaccinated persons residing in India, and will ensure overall safety from further transmission of Covid-19 virus.
“As has been said that no one is safe until everyone is safe, so the government is ensuring that everyone in the country is able to receive the Covid-19 vaccine shot. This is an attempt in that direction,” said a senior central government official aware of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.