COVID-19

Students with Covaxin jab facing problems to go abroad, Mamata tells Modi and seeks his intervention for WHO approval for the vaccine

Published : June 24, 2021 22:45 IST

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a press conference in Kolkata on June 24. Photo: HANDOUT/PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her concern to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about students not being able to go abroad for higher education because Covaxin, the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, is not approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her concern to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about students not being able to go abroad for higher education because Covaxin, the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, is not approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In a letter dated June 24, Banerjee wrote to Modi, saying that students wanting to go abroad are realising that their Covaxin certificate is not valid in other countries.

Mamata wrote, “…it is learnt that Covaxin is still not approved by the WHO and it is not possible to travel abroad as many countries are allowing only those people who are fully vaccinated with WHO approved vaccines.” Referring to the problems many students vaccinated with Covaxin are facing, she said, “Large number of students from all over the country travel abroad every year for higher studies and many of these students have got themselves vaccinated with Covaxin. They came to learn later on that their vaccination certificate is not valid abroad. They are now in a fix regarding their next course of action and their career is at stake… I request your kind intervention so that an early approval is received for Covaxin from WHO and students do not face any problem. This will also benefit people travelling abroad for job, education, business and any other purposes as well.”

Banerjee also pointed out in her letter that vaccination was being carried out in “right earnest” in the State, and to date the government had administered more than two crore doses to different sections of the population. “Since the start of the vaccination programme, we have been receiving both Covishield and Covaxin. Even the private sector in the State has also procured both the vaccines,” Banerjee wrote. Addressing a press conference the same day, she said, “It is not just a problem for students, but also people who need to travel abroad for work, for business, for cultural purposes and other things…. I have asked for the Prime Minister’s intervention so that the World Health Organisation gives its approval at the earliest and students do not get harassed. If they are not being allowed [after getting vaccinated] with Covaxin, then there the Centre should ensure there is an alternative for those who have taken Covaxin so that they can travel abroad.”

Meanwhile,1,923 new COVID cases were registered on June 24 in the State, and the number of active cases was 22,238. The average death count still remained relatively high, with 41 losing their lives on June 24, taking the total death figure to 17,557. The discharge rate stood at 97.33 per cent, with 1,952 people discharged on the day.

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