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US colleges, universities ask Indian students inoculated with Covaxin, Sputnik V to revaccinate

US colleges, universities ask Indian students inoculated with Covaxin, Sputnik V to revaccinate

There are many colleges and universities in US that are asking students to be revaccinated if they have received vaccines -- like Sputnik V and Covaxin -- that have not received WHO approval.  They are citing a lack of data on efficacy and safety of these vaccines

India sends about 2 lakh international students to the US colleges every year India sends about 2 lakh international students to the US colleges every year

Indian students who have received Covaxin or Russia's Sputnik V vaccine are being asked to inoculate again across the US colleges and universities. Both of these vaccines are yet to be approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is why students are being asked to inoculate with different vaccines before the start of the Autumn semester in the US colleges and universities.

A 25-year-old student from India, Milloni Doshi, said Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs has told her she must revaccinate upon her arrival on campus with a different vaccine. Doshi has already been administered two doses of Covaxin in India, reports New York Times.

"I am just concerned about taking two different vaccines. They said the application process would be the toughest part of the cycle, but it's really been all of this that has been uncertain and anxiety-inducing," Doshi wrote via a messaging app.

Also Read: DCGI approves Serum's request to manufacture Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in India

There are many other colleges and universities in the US that are asking students to be revaccinated if they have received vaccines -- like Sputnik V and Covaxin -- that have not received WHO approval. These colleges and universities are citing a lack of data on the efficacy and safety of these vaccines.

"Since Covid-19 vaccines are not interchangeable, the safety and effectiveness of receiving two different Covid-19 vaccines have not been studied," Kristen Nordlund, spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told NYT. Kristen said those who have already received the jabs that have not been approved by the WHO will have to wait for 28 days before they receive the first dose of WHO-approved vaccines in the US.

Notably, vaccines produced by US-based pharma companies, including Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, have already received approval from the WHO. The entire process of making it mandatory for students to revaccinate with the WHO-approved vaccine will hurt the revenues of these institutions, which rake in about $39 billion in tuition dollars every year.

India sends about 2 lakh international students to the US colleges every year, and it's a tricky situation for students who are finding it difficult to get an appointment for vaccines being accepted by US campuses. Students are anxious about the impact of this new rule on their future plans in the US.

Also read: Visa, stipulation period of foreign citizens stuck in India valid till August 31: Centre