More than 400 colleges and universities in the United States have announced vaccine mandates, requiring students to be immunized against the coronavirus. The rules have been designed primarily with domestic students in mind, leaving international students scrambling.
Universities across the US are asking students to re-vaccinate if they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 with vaccines that do not yet have the approval of the World Health Organization. This includes Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin or the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. The students who have taken these vaccines are asked to get revaccinated with the WHO approved vaccines.
Universities are citing lack of data on efficacy and safety of these vaccines as the reason for the same. The concerned students are being told to re-vaccinate. Vaccines produced by US-based pharma companies, including Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, have already received approval from the WHO.
Students are concerned about taking two different vaccines. Spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Kristen Nordlund told on this concern that, “Since Covid-19 vaccines are not interchangeable, the safety and effectiveness of receiving two different vaccines have not been studied.” Nordlund said that those who have already been administered vaccines that are not approved by WHO will have to wait for 28 days before they can receive their first dose of a WHO-approved vaccine in the US.
As many as 2 lakh students move to the US for higher studies. Many of them are now finding it difficult to schedule appointments for vaccination with vaccines approved by their universities.