Published: 09th June 2021
Students travelling to study abroad worried about visa cancellation over COVID vaccine shortage
Indian students who have received Covaxin or Russia's Sputnik V vaccine are being asked to inoculate again across several international institutes as these vaccines are yet to be approved by WHO
Many students, who are to travel abroad for studies, are worried about visa cancellations and getting stuck in India due to the COVID-19 vaccine shortage and timely administration of their second dose.
Shrikant, a Bachelor in Technology who took admission to the University of Florida in the United States, is one such student who is afraid that he might get stuck in India if the vaccine shortage continues as he struggled a lot to book the slot for the first dose. He took his first dose of Covishield in mid-May and his second dose is due after 12 weeks. However, his session is scheduled to start by mid-August.
"I am in a dilemma. If I have taken the first dose of Covishield then there is no guarantee that I will get a second dose of the same vaccine in the US, neither the countries are permitting to take a mixed dose of vaccine," he told ANI.
Shrikant, a resident of Noida, who is preparing to study Masters in Computer Science in the US, has been granted F1 status by the university to carry his studies. "Now my session is going to start in mid-August and I am worried that I might get stuck in India or face visa cancellation if I am not able to attend the session," said Shrikant.
Reportedly, Indian students who have received Covaxin or Russia's Sputnik V vaccine are being asked to inoculate again across several international institutes as both of these vaccines are yet to be approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Requesting for the assistance of the government, he said, "We want relaxation from the government so that we can complete our higher studies in foreign countries."
Kashi Vishwanathan, his father said, "Last year we lost the session due to pandemic. This year also we are stuck due to vaccine issues. Last year we spent Rs 2.5 lakh for procedures of enrolment which was completely wasted. Now, this year again have spent such a huge amount. The problem is that we have to deposit Rs 10 lakh for the first semester. If we deposit and my son is unable to make it to US for his first session then whole amount of money will be wasted." Many other parents like me are also in a state of absolute confusion, added his father.
On June 5 MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted that Indian students studying abroad but are stuck in India due to COVID-19 and related issues can get in touch with the OIA-II Division.
Soon messages were flooded by those students who have enrolled themselves in foreign universities. One student wrote, "Thank you for considering our problem, sir. We Indian students are really depressed and are under immense pressure due to the travel restrictions imposed by the German government. Please help us reach Germany, sir."
Another student said, "Sir, thank you for considering our problem. More than 4,000 students are stuck in India due to the travel ban imposed by the German government. Please help us reach Germany, sir. We have our mandatory offline exams scheduled for June and July."