Mangaluru

Overwhelming response to special vaccine camp from those going abroad for work, studies

People waiting for vaccination at a camp organised by the district administration and Indian Red Cross at Canara High School, Dongerakery, in Mangaluru on Sunday.  

Pavan, a resident of Bejai, tried several times since the start of vaccination for 18-44 age category in May second week to get himself vaccinated. Pavan is scheduled to leave for Canada in July to pursue his higher studies in hotel management and he needs to get his two doses of vaccine. “Fortunately, I received a call to attend a special vaccination camp and get my first dose,” he said.

Pavan was among the 402 people who received their first dose at Canara Girls School here on Sunday. The district administration, in association with the Dakshina Kannada unit of Indian Red Cross Society, organised the special camp for vaccinating people bound for work abroad or study in foreign countries.

A few days ago, Non Resident India representatives from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other nations made a request for vaccination of expatriates during their virtual interaction with Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra.

The Indian Red Cross Society, Dakshina Kannada, sent out a form on the social media and 1,500 expatriates registered their names. “Today, we arranged to vaccinate 500 people who are travelling abroad for work or studies,” said Chairman of Disaster Management Committee of Indian Red Cross Society, Dakshina Kannada, Yatish Baikampady. Apart from 402 expatriates, 43 frontline volunteers were vaccinated on Sunday, he added.

District Health and Family Welfare Officer Kishore Kumar said that expatriates come under the priority category and vaccines are being given to them free.

Among those who took the vaccine included Sujith Kumar who has to report to work in a merchant navy firm in Abu Dhabi. “I failed to get vaccination slots on the Co-Win app,” he said. Tauseef hailing from B.C. Road, who works as a project engineer in a firm in Saudi Arabia, said that he has to return to work by August when his entry permit ends.

Arshad and Aris from Belthangady, who work as sales executives in Saudi Arabia, were worried whether the Saudi Arabian Government will accept Covishield vaccine. “The certificate mentions the local name Covishield and not as Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. If the government does not recognise Covishield, we are required to undergo a week-long quarantine after landing in Saudi Arabia for which we have to shell out a minimum of ₹60,000,” Mr. Aris said.

There were also questions from vaccine recipients whether the second dose will be provided early. The recipients said that the norm that prescribes 12-16 weeks duration between the first and the second dose is too long and will not help expatriates.

Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel, who visited the camp, said that he will take it up with the Union government and seek relaxation in this norm for expatriates.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 8:24:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/overwhelming-response-to-special-vaccine-camp-from-those-going-abroad-for-work-studies/article34745307.ece

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