Kolkata: A day after hitting at centre for decision to introduce Covaxin without authorisation from the World Health Organization (WHO), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to get the indigenous Covid vaccine approved to tackle the problems being faced by people trying to go abroad.
“It is learnt that Covaxin is still not approved by the WHO, creating problems for those trying to go abroad as many countries are allowing only those who are fully vaccinated with WHO-approved vaccines. Since the start of the vaccination programme, we have been receiving both Covishield and Covaxin. Even the private sector in the state has also procured both the vaccines,” the Chief Minister wrote.
“Large number of students from all over the country travel abroad every year for higher studies and many of these students have got themselves vaccinated with Covaxin. They came to learn later that their vaccination certificate is not valid abroad. These students are now in a fix regarding their next course of action and their career is at stake,” she added.
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“I request for your kind intervention so that an early approval is received for Covaxin from the WHO so that the students do not face any problem. This will also benefit people travelling abroad for job, education, business and any other purposes,” she said.
On Wednesday, Mamata Banerjee had criticised the union government, calling it responsible for the uncontrolled spread of Covid during the second wave.
The West Bengal Chief Minister had said that the Centre should immediately get Covaxin authenticated by the WHO or else suggest a remedy for the recipients of this vaccine especially students as they are facing problems travelling abroad.
Terming the BJP as a “big disease for everyone”, Mamata Banerjee had said, “People took Covaxin on the suggestion of the Central government and now the latter should take the responsibility of the problems these people are facing. Students who are set to join foreign universities are in deep trouble as Covaxin is not authorised by the WHO yet. What should these students do now? They cannot take another vaccine as they have already taken Covaxin”.
“They did not take Covaxin on their own and now the Centre cannot shy away from its responsibility. Either the Centre should immediately get Covaxin authenticated by the WHO, or else suggest a remedy to this problem. It is for the Government of India to take some initiative. Even Bangladesh and Brazil are facing problems. The problem needs to be sorted out immediately,” she added.
(With Agency Inputs)