Over 400 US colleges and universities have mandated the students to get COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of the Autumn semester, but those who have been inoculated with India-made Covaxin or Russia's Sputnik V have found themselves in a fix.
Reports have stated that such international students have been asked to re-vaccinate since these vaccines have not yet been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to The New York Times, students from India who have received vaccine jabs not approved by the global health body have been asked to revaccinate upon arrival on the campus.
Many institutions are recommending that such students be vaccinated again which raises safety concerns at a time when there is insufficient data to prove the efficacy of combining vaccines from different companies.
"Since COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable, the safety and effectiveness of receiving two different COVID-19 vaccines have not been studied," stated Kristen Nordlund, spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
People who have been vaccinated outside of the US with a vaccine that has not been approved by WHO should wait at least 28 days before receiving the first dose of a vaccine sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccinations are available to American students.
This discrepancy might impede universities that have made foreign student retention a top goal. According to an estimate, in the year before the outbreak, they brought in about USD 39 billion in tuition revenue overall.