Coronavirus Pandemic

India: People going abroad for work, study to get vaccine priority in Mumbai, Kerala

Web Report/Mumbai
Filed on May 29, 2021 | Last updated on May 29, 2021 at 08.19 am
Photo: Reuters

Those going abroad for studies would be given priority in the 18-44-year group.

Those travelling abroad for education or even for jobs will be given priority in Covid-19 vaccination in Mumbai and Kerala, according to decisions taken by authorities in the city and in the southern state.

The BMC, the civic body in Mumbai, announced on Friday that those going abroad for studies would be given priority in the 18-44-year group. Those in this category can get vaccination without pre-registration at specified centres in Mumbai from Monday to Wednesday.

Students having proof of confirmed admission at foreign universities and with visas would get preference along with lactating women, the specially-abled and senior citizens, it was announced by the BMC. The civic body has stopped vaccination for those in the 18-44 group because of a shortage of vaccines.

Minister Aaditya Thackeray tweeted that other civic bodies in the state would also be told to implement a similar policy for students heading abroad for higher studies. “The numbers are small, but their career opportunities cannot be missed,” he said.

The health department in Kerala said those travelling abroad for studies and jobs could take the second dose of the vaccine after four to six weeks of the first one as against the existing norm of 12-16 weeks. According to Veena George, the health minister, the state government had urged the centre to allow concession in administering the second dose to those going abroad. However, as the centre has not responded, the state government decided to go ahead with the plan, she said.

The state would issue the Covid vaccination certificate with the passport number of the recipient, as many countries have made these certificates mandatory for clearance. People travelling abroad would be given Covishield vaccinations as the WHO has cleared it.

“Many are at the risk of losing their jobs if they do not report to work within the stipulated time frame,” said the Kerala minister. “Further, most countries have not included Covaxin in the approved Covid vaccine list. Hence those who have taken Covaxin are facing hindrance in travel clearance.”

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