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Vaccination on priority begins for those travelling abroad to work or study

Students and working professionals set to travel abroad soon lined up to get registered for vaccination at Navyug School in Mandir Marg on Monday as a special vaccination drive for them was inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

In the queue was Chandra Prakash (39), who works as a chef and will be traveling to West Africa for work on July 15, and his 25-year-old sister, who is leaving for Ireland the same day to pursue a Master’s in Psychology. “We are relieved to be able to get vaccinated here. We could get vaccinated there as well but we would have to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine,” Prakash said.

Both held in their hands their letters of appointment and admission.

People who came to the centre to get vaccinated were either asked by their companies and universities to do so, or were given the option to get vaccinated once they land abroad but hoped to avoid the mandatory quarantine there.

While inaugurating the centre, Sisodia said, “These days, our children are going abroad for further studies, or have attained jobs outside the country or are participating in international sports events. We have opened this special vaccination centre for all these citizens who are leaving for abroad and need to be vaccinated at the earliest, without any hassle.”

Ruchi Vashisht, mother of 19-year-old Sahil, who will be pursuing his undergraduation from Canada, said, “The university has not made it mandatory. But we wanted to avoid the 14-day quarantine.” Sahil got his first dose in the first week of May.

The concern was echoed by Shantanu Bamnavat (32), who is in the second year of his MBA programme in Ireland. He returned to India after a relative passed away in April and decided to get both doses of the vaccine before he returned to Ireland to avoid the institutional quarantine, which would cost 2500 euros.

Meanwhile, a 29-year-old who works for a multinational media and entertainment company in the US hoped to get vaccinated so he could join work again. “I came back during the first wave last year as I was suspended indefinitely. A few days ago, I got an email asking me to join again, but provided I get vaccinated first.” However, he reached the centre around 3 pm, and was asked to return at 9 am the next day as the 200 available slots for the day had been booked.

Rajat Kansal (32) waited for his friend as he got vaccinated. He said his friend will be leaving for Switzerland, while he would return to Germany, where he works as a consultant. While his friend got his first dose of Covishield in the first week of May, he got Covaxin. “My company has not made it mandatory to get vaccinated. However, in Germany, you can only step out to go to stores/restaurants if you have been fully vaccinated, else you would have to keep getting tested for Covid. I will travel once Covaxin gets the necessary approvals,” he said.

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