Amid closure of international borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian students planning on studying in France this year have been worried. Although the Ambassador of France to India has assured reopening of borders in June, students enrolled in European universities have not yet received any formal communication from the authorities.
Germany, France and other European countries, that have drawn a larger number of Indian students are now facing problems related to access, despite obtaining admissions.
Many Indian students have not been able to travel to Europe due to the latest development of non-approval of Covishield by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
To ease safe and free movement of people in the EU during the pandemic, the members of the he European Commission have started using the Green Pass or the Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC). The EUDCC works as a digital proof of vaccination against Covid-19, negative test result or recovery from Covid-19.
Currently, France allows four EMA-approved vaccines and not all the six vaccines approved by the WHO. These include Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), BioNTech-Pfizer, Vaxzevria (Oxford-AstraZeneca) and Moderna. Covishield, which is the Indian version of Oxford- AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria, is yet to be approved by the EMA. This exclusion of the Indian vaccine has left Indian students in a quandary.
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Addressing this challenge faced by Indian students, Serum Institute’s CEO Adar Poonawala recently said that he will take this issue up at a diplomatic level with countries.
Students do not want to take online classes as they are not an alternative to face-to-face learning in a foreign country for the fee they have paid.
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