‘Vaccines for Students at IIT Gandhinagar, But We Are Only 21’
It feels as though we were naive to believe that the institute had prior permission.
As our country faces a vaccine shortage, students of IIT Gandhinagar in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, were administered the Covishield vaccine early in April.
I am a final year student and at the time of receiving the vaccine, I was unaware that I am ineligible, ie not in the government-mandated age-group to get the jab. While I knew the vaccine was available to persons above 45 years of age, I thought that students are beginning to be vaccinated as well. I had read some reports that the Department of Higher Education had requested the Health Ministry to vaccinate faculty, students, and staff of centrally funded technical institutions. This request was however, declined. Regardless, over 900 students and 500 staff members have been vaccinated, and there is no response from the administration yet as to how the vaccines were procured.
This entire episode has left me feeling hollow and suspicious. My parents, who are above 45 years of age, haven’t received the vaccine yet, but I have!
Around 30 March, students received mails that a vaccination drive was being organised at campus (The Quint has accessed these emails). We were told that it will be administered slot-wise and each student would be called accordingly to get the jab. They had also arranged buses to the dispensary, which is around 700 meters away. Some others were vaccinated at Jasubhai Memorial Auditorium within the campus.
At the dispensary, students’ Aadhaar IDs were verified and post-registrations, we were told to wait. No one knows how students were registered since none of us are front line or health workers. The nurse told me about the possible side-effects of the vaccine and also said the second dose should be same, even if outside IIT. We were given Paracetamol in case of fever. While some of us got fever the same day, I was fine. Next day, my arm was sore and I had a little temperature. Most students in the hostel had side-effects.
We had all forgotten about the vaccination drive till last week, when news started to make the rounds that there was no prior permission. It feels as though we were naive to believe the student council.
When we were also told not to discuss vaccination with anyone outside IIT, the picture became more clearer – the administration had something to hide.
On 11 April, students asked wardens about the legality of the vaccination and the reports. They denied having any information about the news.
Last year, I lost two family members to the virus. I’d hoped for the vaccine then, maybe it would have saved them. To now know that I have got the vaccine and others who need it struggle for its availability, feels morally and ethically wrong.
(The Quint has reached out to the Director of IIT Gandhinagar. The story will be updated if there is a response.)
(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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