With the plan to provide Covid-19 vaccination for all those above 18 years starting from May 1, students have requested for on-campus vaccination centres at University of Mumbai (MU) and major degree colleges. Students said this will reduce crowding at government and private hospitals and vaccination centres which are already overburdened.
This request has been raised after the state higher and technical education minister Uday Samant recently announced the plan to initiate Covid-19 vaccination drive for over 36,00,670 students between the age of 18 to 25 years studying in universities in Maharashtra. Samant said, "We will discuss the plan with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, disaster management authorities and task force members. We plan to initiate the Covid-19 vaccination drive through universities for students between 18 to 25 years starting from May 1."
Students studying at MU and affiliated degree colleges said vaccination drives should be initiated on campus. Vikrant Sanghvi, a student said, "I would rather go to MU campus and take the vaccine dose instead of crowding at any other hospital or vaccination centre." While, Fardeen Ajmal, another student said, "People are already witnessing long queues, endless hours of waiting and crowding at vaccination centres. It would reduce the burden on vaccination centres if students are directed to take the vaccine shot at respective university campuses."
Joginder Chawla, student leader of the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of a South Mumbai college, said, "Student volunteers can help if vaccination centres are setup on campus in universities and degree colleges. It will help divert crowd and reduce risks."
While the state government is yet to take a decision, MU said it is ready to setup a Covid-19 vaccination centre on campus. A senior official of MU said, "We have a lot of space and a dedicated health centre at MU, Kalina campus. We can set up a vaccination camp for students and staff staying on campus and also for those studying in affiliated degree colleges. We are waiting for directions and guidelines from the state government."
While, Ravindrasinh Pardeshi, principal of Fergusson College, Pune, said, "Considering the current Covid-19 situation, we are exploring various methods to provide vaccination for students. We will wait for final directions from the state." The registration for Covid-19 vaccination for all those aged 18 to 44 years will begin on the CoWIN platform and Aarogya Setu App from April 28, 2021.