ALIGARH: AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor on Thursday said vaccine hesitancy played a big role in the spread of coronavirus in the campus, where at least 40 serving and retired teachers have died in recent weeks due to COVID or COVID-like symptoms.
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) authorities also launched a vaccination audit and urged all employees to provide their vaccination status and that of their family members for "future health planning and streamlining the vaccination drive".
"Vaccine hesitancy has played a significant role in the incidence of large number of cases of COVID-19 among university employees and their families, and consequent morbidity and mortality," the VC said in an open letter to AMU community.
Last week, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the AMU campus and pointed that vaccination could have saved lives.
Notably, 19 serving teachers at the university and at least 21 retired teachers lost their lives due to COVID-19 and COVID-like symptoms in recent weeks.
The Vice-Chancellor said two vaccination centres are currently operational at the campus and appealed to the AMU community to shed doubts regarding the efficacy of the vaccines in preventing any further loss of life.
"All studies indicate that vaccines provide protection against serious disease, hospitalizations and deaths," he said.
To tackle the current crisis and prepare for a possible third wave of COVID, the Vice-Chancellor has also instituted a high-level 15 member committee to draw a roadmap for shoring up resources and medical facilities at the campus.
The committee will be headed by the AMU registrar and will include the principal dean and the superintendent of the medical college hospital.
It will also plan additional resources and equipment for the paediatric wards keeping in mind the possible threat to children.
Earlier, at the request of the Vice-Chancellor, ICMR had conducted genome sequencing of coronavirus samples around the campus but found that no new strain was responsible for the large number of deaths in the area.