Parents seek immediate vaccination for medicos in Kerala

Over 13,000 students in State yet to be vaccinated

Medical students and their parents in the State have demanded that all students of medicine and allied courses be given two doses of COVID vaccine in view of the uncertainties about the beginning of regular classes in the State’s medical colleges.

Only half of the medical students in government and private medical colleges in the State have been vaccinated. When a section of them got the first dose, there are many who have not been vaccinated at all.

“Vaccinating all of them is the best way out to circumvent the crisis looming over medical education in the State,” said Habeeb Rahman, father of an MBBS student at M.E.S. Medical College, Perinthalmanna, and joint secretary of the Parents Coordination of Medical Students (PCOMS).

About 28,000 students of MBBS and paramedical courses are currently

studying in the State’s medical colleges in different batches. When the government included them in the priority list in the first vaccination drive, about 15,000 of them took the jabs. However, more than 13,000 of them still remain unvaccinated.

Although classes are being held online for medical students, the effectiveness of such classes without lab experiments and any hands-on or practical experience has become a matter of contest. Parents of MBBS students in private medical colleges are a worried lot.

“It is painful to see them hanging on to online classes, at times boring. We are paying a hefty annual fees of ₹7 lakh and upwards. The loss for our children if they continue in this online mode will be quite heavy,” said Jaleel Mambad, a parent from KMC Medical College, Kozhikode, and State treasurer of PCOMS.

Private medical colleges in the State have refused to either reduce the fees or to show any leniency towards students during the pandemic time. Some of them have started demanding advance payment of the fees for the upcoming academic year even when the studies of the ongoing academic year are in a muddle.

“We want the government to give due consideration to medical education. Our students should get vaccinated with priority, and they should be back in classes with all possible precautions soon,” said Mr. Rahman.

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