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FAQ: I Will Be Studying Abroad – Is Vaccine Mandatory for Travel?

Students going abroad need to get the jab soon. Which states are prioritising them? What is the process to register?

Updated
F.A.Q
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With a shortage of vaccines and slots for the 18 to 44 age group overbooked, getting vaccinated is a growing concern among students pursuing higher education abroad. Not finding a slot or getting the jab on time could be an issue, as countries start opening their borders to students.

While some states are already beginning to prioritise these students, so they may get the COVID vaccine at the earliest, others have not issued guidelines regarding the same.

Which states are providing vaccinations? What is the procedure to get it? Here’s what we know so far.

I am starting a new semester in September 2021. Is vaccine mandatory for travel abroad?

This depends on the country you are travelling to, and the university you have been admitted to. For example, most universities in the United States have their own vaccination policy. While some require you to be vaccinated, others have not mandated the requirement.

I have received both shots of Covaxin. Will I be eligible to travel abroad?

Again, this depends on your university and the rules in the country. Some European countries are allowing only those who are vaccinated with WHO-approved vaccines to enter their borders. Covaxin is yet to receive this approval.

I have received one shot of Covaxin. When will I get my second dose?

This is subject to availability of Covaxin dose in your states. Many states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Telangana, Rajasthan, have halted vaccination for the 18-44 cohort due to unavailability of vaccines.

States Conducting Special Drives for Students Pursuing Education Abroad

Maharashtra

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is providing free, walk-in vaccinations for students pursuing higher education abroad at Kasturba Hospital, Cooper Hospital, and Rajawadi Hospital.

What documents do I need to carry?

  • Admission confirmation letter from the concerned university.
  • I-20 or DS-160 form for foreign visa from the concerned university.
  • Personal identification documents.

I fall under the 18-44 category and am eligible for the second dose. Will I get the second dose of vaccine?

Yes, you are eligible to get your second jab. However, it will be subject to availability of vaccine.

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Karnataka

  • Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan announced that the vaccination drive for those travelling abroad for education and employment will begin on Tuesday, 1 June, at 3 pm, at the Administrative block of Bengaluru City University.
  • Students travelling abroad are now a priority group for vaccination.
  • This will be walk-in vaccination and no registration is required.

What documents do I need to carry?

  • Valid visas, admission receipts, or any such valid documents can be produced.
  • Vaccine completion certificates will be issued on the spot.
  • All necessary eligibility certificates will be issued by district commissioners.
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Kerala

  • The Kerala Health Department added students travelling overseas for education to the list of priority vaccine recipients on 28 May.
  • As per a circular, beneficiaries who have registered under this priority category will preferably be administered Covishield, since it is WHO-approved.
  • Additionally, the Kerala government will also issue a vaccine certificate with passport number and/or vaccine name mentioned to those who apply for it.

I am in Kerala, and have taken my first dose of Covishield. When can I take the second dose?

Students travelling abroad for education can now get their second dose of Covishield after four to six weeks of the first dose, instead of the 12 to 16 weeks interval recommended by the Centre. However, this applies only to Kerala.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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