Vaccination is not mandatory for US-bound students: MEA

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: India on Thursday clarified that taking a WHO-approved vaccine is not mandatory for US-bound students to pursue higher education.

“There is no uniformity in these requirements… the US government has clarified that vaccination is not a mandatory requirement for travelling to the US for Indian students. I also understand that there are multiple conversations between the students and our universities.

We would obviously support our students. I think everyone concerned is interested in ensuring that the students are able to reach the universities and undertake regular classes and we hope that a constructive solution can be found,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

Earlier this week, the US had assured that more visa appointments would be granted for Indian students after a rush for interview slots on Monday led to the embassy portal crashing. Reports had emerged that Indian students who had taken Covaxin or Sputnik V vaccines were being asked to revaccinate by universities as the two are not approved by the WHO yet. Bagchi said India is also monitoring the emergency use authorisation approval of Covaxin by the WHO.

Meanwhile, India said it favours a discussion on vaccine passports and urged it to be linked with vaccine equity as many developing nations are yet to inoculate their citizens.