While the new academic sessions begin, several colleges and universities in the United States have advised their students to get immunized against Covid-19. However, does that mean that you can take whatever Covid 19 vaccine available in India right now? Probably not, as some students vaccinated with Covaxin and Sputnik V have been asked to get re-vaccinated in the US. It turns out that several universities in the US do not acknowledge vaccines that are not on the World Health Organization emergency use list. Sputnik V and Covaxin are yet to receive WHO consent. But here’s everything you need to understand if you are an Indian scholar traveling overseas.
Is The Indian Government Offering Priority Vaccines To Students Travelling Abroad?
Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana become Indian states, which declared priority vaccination for students traveling abroad for education. Therefore, these centers in Mumbai are vaccinating students traveling overseas on a priority basis. Apart from BMC in Mumbai, Pune Municipal Corporation handles special drives for students and foreign travel arrangements.
18-44 y/o students planning to travel out of India to pursue higher education can get their shots at Rajawadi, Cooper and Kasturba on Mon, Tues and Wed (walk ins)
— माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) June 6, 2021
What About Students Who Will Have To Wait For Their Second Dose Of Vaccination?
- Honestly, now there are two concerns with the vaccination of foreign-bound passengers.
Students should be given Covaxin as it is not on the WHO emergency list.
- Cowin does not enable the booking of the second slot before 12 weeks. The break between first and second does enormous for those seeking Covishield. So, for now, the government is suggesting students flying three months later to get the vaccination without further ado to be fully vaccinated in good time.
📢 Kind Attention!
Indian students studying abroad but stuck in India due to COVID-19 and related issues can get in touch with the OIA-II Division at @MEAIndia.
➡️ Visit https://t.co/unwYpe26PN to know more!
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) June 5, 2021
Should Students Travelling To The US Take Only Covishield?
Currently, WHO has not added Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to its emergency list. That said, the vaccine is awaiting to perceive WHO consent by September 2020. As Covishield is already in the WHO emergency list, it can be more reliable to get vaccinated.
Traveling within the U.S.? If you are fully vaccinated for #COVID19, you do NOT need to get tested or self-quarantine. You should still follow all other #travel recommendations. Learn more: https://t.co/sohmghhLrq pic.twitter.com/00xbEKYc4J
— CDC Travel Health (@CDCtravel) April 30, 2021
Did The US Make Vaccination Mandatory For Entry?
Till now, no nation has made vaccination compulsory for entrance, but there are university-specific practices. And while those rules are primarily applied for residential students, they will influence students from India. Moreover, the concept of a vaccine passport for hassle-free worldwide travel is still at a nascent stage, and India has recently communicated its objection to such prejudicial ideas.
Under the current Presidential Proclamation, student visa holders are able to enter the United States if their classes start on or after August 1, 2021. We are unfortunately unable to approve exceptions for F visa holders with a program start date before August 1, 2021.
— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) May 4, 2021
For all refreshed information on rules and regulations for moving to the US, watch out for this space.