Visa Crunch

Indian students must take only WHO-approved vaccinations if they plan to travel abroad

In India, students and agents are seeking explanations on vaccination requirements with popular locations, particularly about the India-developed Covaxin and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccinations, which have been provided throughout the country.

“We have not received any guidance on vaccination requirements for any of our study destinations from our institution partners at this time.” Study abroad counselors have suggested students use the WHO-recognized Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield, which is recognized in study locations. In certain circumstances, as in Ireland, fully vaccinated students are free from required hotel quarantine.

Recently, Canada stated that essential passengers completely vaccinated with Astra Zeneca, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna jabs will see shorter quarantines starting in July, although authorities now demand vaccinated travelers to quarantine on arrival.

“What these nations have indicated is a different length of quarantine required, for example, the UK wants 10 days (because of India’s red zone) and Canada wants 14 days,” he explained.

“We have recommended that our students in India who want to study abroad in the next months consider the Astra-Zeneca (Covishield) vaccination for their studies,” Ankur Agarwal, AECC Global-India country director concurred.

“At this time, we have not received any vaccine recommendations from our institution partners for any of our research destinations,” Agarwal told The PIE. Covaxin and Sputnik V, both developed by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research, are not recognized by the World Health Organization.

However, starting in the fall of 2021, more than 400 US institutions will require students to get vaccinated to gain access to their campuses, which is encouraging Indian students planning to travel to the US to get the vaccine ahead of time to avoid being quarantined, according to Sukhwani.

The majority of Indian students have received the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine, but some have received India’s Covaxin vaccine instead, “primarily because the time gap between the two doses is shorter,” according to Ravi Lochan Singh, managing director of Global Reach, a company that recruits students from South Asia to study all over the world.

It is these pupils who are seeking further clarification. Lochan Singh also anticipates WHO expanding its list of approved vaccinations. It approved the Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine from China for emergency use on June 1.

He said, “this might happen in the next month, and if it occurs, and the mentioned vaccinations are included, there will be no problem. If it does not happen in time for the students to travel they will be required to stay in a hotel for 10-14 days.”

“This year’s students are mostly going to the UK, the US, Ireland, and Canada. I believe the notion of vaccination passports will be fully established by the time Australia and New Zealand begin allowing overseas visitors,” he finishes.

Getting fully vaccinated might potentially help students avoid the need to quarantine. As Canada is set to announce that quarantine has been lifted as long as the students get the approved vaccines. Read more about the expected changes in countries like Canada due to vaccination:

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