Foreign-bound students make light of vaccine norms

Officials From The Institute Of Preventive Medicine Say Students Must Take Vaccines At Least A Month Before Departure

City students who are looking to apply to universities in the US, will soon be advised by their respective college counsellors to undergo the entire gamut of vaccinations listed by the government.This comes after officials from the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Hyderabad, called for a training session for college staff regarding vaccinations on Friday . The session aims to educate staff members so that they can inturn inform students about the importance of getting vaccinated and the risks of failing to do so.

According to official figures, 25,000 students get visas to the US from the city alone every academic year. But many of them consider getting vaccinated as a trivial issue and keep the matter in abeyance till the end, say officials of IPM.

“Over 50 per cent of students who apply for courses abroad are not punctual about vaccination. Speaking from a medical perspective, the students have to take their vaccines at least one month in advance. But that is not the case,“ Dr G Sampath, deputy chief surgeon, IPM, told TOI, adding that there have been cases where students come to IPM a few hours before their flight asking to be vaccinated. Experts say it takes at least a month for any vaccine to kick in and provide immunity, but since students here delay the process, they are forced to take the vaccine once again at international airports at exorbitant prices coughing up as much as $200 (which may cost as less as Rs 150 at IPM). “Whenever students take these vaccines on short-notice they are bound to feel weak, with cases of nausea or fever, as with any vaccine. But when they reach the immigra tion check at their destination, they are stopped as the vaccines have still not begun to function,“ Sampath said. A few of the mandated vac cines include those for Mumps, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis (A,B and C), Rotavirus, Rubella and Varicella, which take a month’s time to build immunity in the human body .

Officials also say that there have been a few cases where students have tried to take vaccines from private practitioners, clinics or hospitals. “But that will not help because, we (IPM) are the only institute to be recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which gives us with the power to administer and authenticate the entire vaccination process,“ said K Amarender Reddy, director, IPM.


Source: Times Of India