Students of the University of Mumbai (MU), degree colleges and educational institutes are demanding vaccination at campus under the 18-44 years age category. Students said this will reduce crowding at regular vaccination centres and provide easy access to students and faculty members.

On April 22, 2021, Uday Samant, higher and technical education minister of Maharashtra had announced, "We plan to initiate the Covid-19 vaccination drive through universities for students between 18 to 25 years with the help of volunteers from National Service Scheme (NSS) and National Cadet Corps (NCC) of colleges." But then, the vaccination drive for the 18-44 years age group was suspended in Maharashtra.

Now the state government has resumed the vaccination drive for those above 18 years. Viraj Pant, a student said, "Now that the vaccination drive is on for those above 18 years, there should be vaccination camps at college and university campuses. This will help students, faculty and staff members residing on campus to get inoculated instead of rushing to regular centres."

Komal Masurkar, another student said, "There is a lot of vacant space available at degree colleges and university campuses as offline classes are shut. If vaccination drives are held at college and university campuses then students and faculty of respective institutes can get their vaccine shots there which will reduce crowding at municipal and state vaccination centres. Just like private sector offices are organising vaccination drives for their employees, universities and colleges should start too."

Recently, IIT Bombay organised a three-day vaccination drive on campus for over 4,000 students, faculty and staff members. MU officials said there are no plans for vaccination drives on campus as of now. Vinod Malale, senior official of MU said, "We do not have any plans to start vaccination drives on campus as of now because we do not have a lot of students and faculty residing on campus. But we will wait for directions from the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)."

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Free Press Journal