NHS England and UUK: student vaccinations vital ahead of new term

Many universities will host vaccination centres in the coming weeks – and the NHS has launched a search tool for students to find their nearest walk-in centre

NHS England and Universities UK have urged students to get vaccinations as the start of term – and the move to university for hundreds of thousands – nears.

Many universities will host vaccination centres in the coming weeks – and for those that don’t, the NHS website hosts a walk-in centre search tool for students to use. Students can also book their second jab at a pharmacy, GP practice or vaccination centre using the National Booking System.

Prof Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England, said: “With many universities set to run pop-ups and walk-ins throughout the first weeks of term it has never been easier to get protected, so I urge anyone yet to be vaccinated to take up the offer as soon as possible.”

The NHS urged students to promptly register with a GP if they have moved away for the first time.

Universities UK welcomed Prof Powis’s statement but added that vaccine hesitancy among young people is very low.

“Surveys by individual universities show that uptake among students is higher than the average for 18–24-year-olds, but we must keep up the pace as the new term starts,” said Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of UUK.

He continued: “Universities are taking every opportunity to support and amplify the message that students should get vaccinated without delay, working with the vital NHS vaccination programme. Huge efforts are being made to strongly encourage uptake, including working with student ambassadors, providing novel incentive schemes, poster campaigns, myth-busting initiatives and a range of other communications activities.

“Universities will provide pop-up vaccinations clinics, vaccine buses or easy access to local walk-in centres, GPs and pharmacies at the start of term to make getting fully jabbed as easy and convenient as possible.”

Read more: Exams and assessments in England are broken beyond repair, independent commission warns

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