Guidance on getting a COVID-19 vaccination in the UK

There is good news for international students planning to study in the UK this autumn. The success of the UK vaccination programme means that everyone in the UK over the age of 18 – including international students – can now get a free COVID-19 vaccination.

The COVID-19 vaccines in use in the UK have been created and tested by well-established science that has been used to develop vaccinations for many years. They have been thoroughly tested and have been proven to be an effective defence against COVID-19, including against the new variants that have been identified so far.

They not only prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19 but can also stop people from getting seriously ill if they do catch COVID-19. So far, more than 45.4 million people have had a first vaccine dose – about 86% of the adult population – and almost 34 million have had a second.

To be eligible for the vaccine, international students arriving in the UK are advised to register as soon as possible with a National Health Service (NHS) doctor (called a ‘General Practitioner’ or ‘GP’). This will enable students to get general healthcare as well as the COVID-19 vaccination.

The vaccinations are given at local sites run by doctors, local pharmacies, some hospitals, and at larger vaccination centres. Two doses of the vaccine are offered, the second one being given a few weeks after the first.

Although having the vaccination is voluntary, everyone is strongly urged to have the vaccine when it is offered, as the best way of protecting yourself and others.

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