Mumbai to vaccinate foreign-bound students on priority

BMC seeks vaccines from ‘Sister Cities’ abroad

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Geetanjali Minhas | May 29, 2021 | Mumbai


#Covid-19   #healthcare   #vaccination   #Mumbai   #education  


Students from Mumbai who have secured confirmed admissions in foreign universities and are required to get vaccinated will be given priority and they can visit any of the three dedicated vaccination centres in the city to get jabs, the municipal corporation has announced.

Between May 31 and June 2, Kasturba Hospital in Chinchpokli, Rajawadi in Ghatkoper and Cooper Hospital in Juhu will administer vaccines to students with admission confirmation letter (I-20, DS-160 form for foreign visa) from the concerned overseas university, the BMC said in its circular Friday.

The circular issued by municipal Commissioner, Iqbal Singh Chahal also said that between Monday and Wednesday frontline and healthcare workers will be allowed walk -in for the first and second dose of Covishield and Covaxin. The differently abled will be given preference. Persons above 45 years will be allowed walk-in for the first and second dose of Covishield.  Women who have delivered in the past 12 months can also get vaccinated producing the birth certificate of the child.

The BMC has said that relaxation has been made considering the fact that in the 45-plus age category as nine lakh out of the total 19 lakh people are still awaiting their first dose. It also said that 78% population above 60 years age group has got the first dose.

In a series of tweets, state minister Aditya Thackeray said. “I will also be speaking to other municipal corporations across Maharashtra to implement the same for students in and around those cities with confirmation letters for universities abroad, to implement the same. The numbers are small, but their career opportunities can't be missed.”

Exploring all avenues, the BMC on May 25 sought help from six ‘sister cities’ abroad to help with Covid-19 vaccines. The ‘Sister Cities’ programme is an agreement between towns, cities and counties in geographically and politically distinct areas for promotion of cultural and commercial ties. Along with Mumbai, Berlin, Los Angeles, St Petersburg, Stuttgart, Yokohama, Honolulu, New York, Zagreb, Barcelona, Busan, Port of Odesa, Jakarta, Nadi, Antananarivo, Shanghai are the 16 ‘sister cities’.  

In a written communication to the mayors of Yokohama in Japan, Busan in South Korea, Los Angeles and New York in the US, Stuttgart in Germany and St Petersburg in Russia, municipal commissioner Chahal has stated that the city of Mumbai needs to meet the demand of 18 million vaccine doses and BMC will pay in advance for required vaccines. The letter has requested for information on availability of vaccine along with costs and bank details for depositing the requisite amount of money. “Mumbai as a Sister City will surely acknowledge your favour for the same,” it says.

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