IIT-Bombay looks for ways to subsidise Covid vaccine
Amid growing demand for free vaccines among students, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), is now looking for ways to subsidise the doses.
Despite registering as a government vaccination centre for Covid-19 vaccines, the hospital on campus has not been able to procure vaccine doses. The institute is now planning to hold a vaccination drive with the help of private hospitals for its students on campus.
“IIT will bear the administration expenses but the cost paid to the private agency is recoverable from students. However, if any student is unable to pay, provisions have been made to support them for now,” said IIT-B director Subhasis Chaudhuri.
A workplace vaccination drive is being planned where beneficiaries have to pay ₹1,000 plus taxes, much to the disappointment of students.
Dean, student affairs, Tapanendu Kundu said, “We are doing our best to reduce the financial burden on students for vaccination. The aim is to get more and more students to be inoculated during the drive. There are no government rules for institutes to pay for students’ vaccines.”
One of the ways the institute is considering is adjusting the vaccination charges against fees paid by students towards hostel amenities. “We are also in touch with alumni groups to raise funds for the vaccination drive,” said Kundu.
Students, on the other hand, remained upset with the charges for vaccination. “Many other central universities and institutes have been inoculating students for free. Why is IIT-B not able to do so?” said a student requesting anonymity.
Currently, around 3,000 students reside on campus. The institute has made it mandatory for anybody getting a vaccine outside the campus to return and complete a 14-day quarantine. “This rule has discouraged many students from getting a free shot outside,” said the student.
The institute, meanwhile, is worried that once the price capping of Covid-19 vaccines comes into force from June 21, private hospitals may not find it feasible to run a workplace drive. A senior official at the institute said that the institute is encouraging more students to get vaccinated in the inoculation drive planned for next week.