Covid vaccines offered to international students in Scotland

Covid vaccines will be offered to international students studying in Scotland in the next academic year, health secretary Humza Yousaf has said.

This is in line with existing guidelines from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), and will mean that an estimated 65,000 international students will be able to get a jag.

Scottish students should already have received a first dose by the start of the academic year, according to the target set by the Scottish Government.

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International students who received a first dose in their home countries may be able to get a second dose in Scotland Plans for this are still being “firmed up”, the health secretary said.

Picture: PA MediaPicture: PA Media
Picture: PA Media

Mr Yousaf said: “There is a huge amount of work going on to ensure that everyone is able to get vaccinated. This is crucial to the success of the programme and our efforts to bring the virus under control.

“Based on the latest data, we estimate there could be around 65,000 international students studying in Scotland in the next academic year. I am pleased to confirm they will be included in our national vaccination programme.”

Universities Scotland Director Alastair Sim said: “International students are an integral part of Scotland’s university community.

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"As a part of that community, it’s absolutely vital that they have the same entitlement to a Covid-19 vaccination as other students and we welcome the clarity for international students that the Scottish Government has provided.

“Vaccination is the best route back to normality. For international students arriving in Scotland over the coming months, it is crucial that they know that they will receive all the help they require to stay safe during these uncertain times. Being eligible for a vaccine is an important part of that sense of security and wellbeing.”

Colleges Scotland Chief Executive Shona Struthers also welcomed the announcement.

She said: “We’re pleased to see the expansion of the vaccination programme to international students.

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“Colleges welcome international students from around the world every year - we want them to feel safe and protected while they live and study in Scotland, and the community around them to be confident that students have had the opportunity to be vaccinated while they are in Scotland.”

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