COVID-19 Vaccination for students, the big question (2021)

    COVID-19 Vaccination for students,  the big question that lingers in every students mind is “To be vaccinated or not” Every student across the globe are confused lot – as they prepare to travel to their universities post lockdown. Should they be vaccinated or just rtpcr test is enough

    With the system operating independently from the federal government, universities are adopting varying strategies when it comes to Covid vaccination.

    For instance, Ivor Emmanuel, director of Berkeley International Office at University of California (UC), Berkeley, says the university is considering providing the student with an FDA-approved vaccine. Students will not have to bear the cost of the vaccine or any testing, he adds.

    “International students are not required to be vaccinated prior to entry into the US, but are encouraged to get one if they can,” Emmanuel tells Business Standard.

    “For those who are vaccinated, the university will recognise vaccines approved by the WHO… At this time, under the National Interest Exception, Indian students are eligible to travel to the US after securing a visa beginning on August 1 or no more than 30 days from the start of their programme. The challenge that we face right now is that the US embassy and the consulates in India are closed due to the latest surge in Covid,” he adds.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, has meanwhile decided that every enrolled student must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This requirement applies to newly enrolled and continuing MIT international students as well.

    Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination for students

    “MIT Medical (it serves the healthcare needs of the MIT community) will be in touch with students who are unable to access vaccines before the start date of their classes/programme,” the institution said when contacted by Business Standard.

    “Most likely, they will need to be vaccinated as soon as they arrive on campus. If MIT has a vaccine available (determined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts), students will be able to get immunised, at no cost, on campus. Otherwise students will need to register for an appointment at a pharmacy or through the state (most likely covered by MIT-sponsored insurance). Once on campus, any necessary Covid-19 testing is free,” it added.

    At Canada’s Rotman School of Management, Indian students do not need to be vaccinated before they land. Vaccinated students, however, are not exempt from any entry restrictions, testing or quarantine, says Joseph Milner, the school’s vice dean for MBA programmes.

    “A negative molecular test (RT-PCR or similar) is needed to enter Canada, or proper documentation that they have a resolved Covid-19 infection. There are additional requirements from the government of for all arriving international travellers including a mandatory quarantine in a government-approved hotel, which students must meet,” Milner adds.

    College students COVID vaccine priority

    According to the WHO Infected people in all age groups – including adolescents – can transmit the virus to other people, even if they have mild symptoms or do not feel ill. The virus is spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces. People can then become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

    CNN recently reported that if we can’t find a vaccine for Covid-19 soon, social distancing could continue for another two years. Since it’s nearly impossible to enforce social distancing for 30 children in a classroom, schools may be some of the last spaces to reopen.


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