Vaccination Of Foreign-Bound Students Starts In Karnataka Today

Cable operators and those working in milk cooperatives are the other two groups that have gained entry into the revised list issued by the National Health Mission.

Vaccine seekers from these groups will have to show valid documents (File)

Bengaluru:

People travelling abroad for education and employment have been included in the vaccine priority list in Karnataka, as many countries have made full inoculations against the coronavirus mandatory for entry.

Cable operators and those working in milk cooperatives are the other two groups that have gained entry into the revised list issued by the National Health Mission.

Dr Ashwath Narayan, Karnataka's Deputy Chief Minister, said the vaccination drive for students going to study in foreign universities and those who need to travel abroad for employment, will be launched today at the Bengaluru University Centre.

Vaccine seekers from these groups will have to show valid visas, admission receipts and other relevant documents to the authorities for inoculations.

The government has also relaxed the mandatory time gap of at least 6 weeks for the second Covishield dose, for the two groups.

The Chief Commissioner of BBMP, Bengaluru's civic body, and all the district commissioners have been asked to issue the necessary eligibility certificates for people from the two categories.

Janata Dal Secular (JDS) leader HD Kumaraswamy had urged the Karnataka government to prioritise vaccination of the two groups.

"It is that time of the year when thousands of young Kannadigas go abroad to study. Since many countries/universities have made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory before entering the country/campus, it is the government's duty to prioritize this group of youngsters for vaccination," Mr Kumaraswamy tweeted on Saturday.

Similar facilities have been extended to foreign-bound students in Maharashtra capital Mumbai.

Amid the second wave of infections, the vaccination drive has drastically slowed down due to a severe shortage of doses across the country, jeopardising the plans of those seeking a brighter future abroad.

Many students inoculated with Bharat Biotech's Covaxin are worried that they will not be allowed to join their campuses as the vaccine has not been approved by the World Health Organisation.

The Hyderabad-based company, in a statement last week, said regulatory approvals for Covaxin are in process in "more than 60 countries" including the US, Brazil and Hungary.