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Maharashtra to offer COVID-19 vaccination to students going abroad for higher education

The state government said that from May 31 onwards, there will be a free walk-in vaccination drive for students who have received confirmation of admission in universities abroad & require vaccines for the same.

May 29, 2021 / 08:59 AM IST
COVID-19 vaccine (Representative image)

COVID-19 vaccine (Representative image)


Maharashtra has announced a special vaccination initiative for students in the state going abroad for higher education.

In a late night announcement on May 28, the state government said that starting May 31, there will be a free walk-in vaccination drive for students who have received confirmation of admission in universities abroad and require vaccines for the same. 

Under this scheme by Mumbai's civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), students can walk-in at any of the three designated COVID-19 vaccination centres between May 31 and June 2, namely Rajawadi, Cooper and Kasturba.

This means that students will not face any delays in reaching their overseas destination for their higher education programmes.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Moneycontrol had earlier reported how Indian students planning a study-abroad degree have been worst-hit amid the second wave of COVID-19. Either borders are closed across major study locations like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand especially for Indian traveller, or there are strict regulations in place for entry.

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: All you need to know about manufacturing and pricing

What documents would be needed?

Maharashtra state Cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray announced on social media that interested students need to carry I-20 or DS-160 form/verified confirmation letter issued by concerned foreign universities, along with personal identification documents.

Thackeray, who is also the guardian minister of the Mumbai Suburban District, added that since admission delays could affect careers, the government was duty-bound to vaccinate them in the required time.

He said that he would speak to other municipal corporations across Maharashtra for similar initiatives. "I will also be speaking to other municipal corporations across Maharashtra to implement the same for students in and around those cities with confirmation letters for universities abroad, to implement the same. The numbers are small, but their career opportunities can’t be missed," Thackeray added.

Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here



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first published: May 29, 2021 08:59 am
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