On Wednesday 2nd December, The UK government announced its plan to roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to everyone in the UK, including international students. 357 million vaccine doses have been secured to ensure sufficient supply for everyone.
Dosage distribution has already started with priority groups, such as care home residents and staff, people over the age of 80, and healthcare workers. Following that, the whole country will start to receive the vaccine in order of age and risk level. International students will receive the vaccine via the same levels of priority, meaning older and vulnerable students will get the vaccine first.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said that “this vaccine, when combined with effective treatments, will form a vital part in making Covid-19 a manageable disease, hopefully allowing us to return to normality in the future,”.
By late spring or early summer of 2021, the UK is anticipated to be the first country to be fully vaccinated. Students will be able to get vaccinated in the UK before any part of the world, making it a safer and more attractive country to study in.
Moreover, Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, wrote an open letter to international students thanking them for their patience through the measures introduced by the government to tackle the spread of the virus.
The Minister supported face-to-face learning and elaborated that the government is working on returning students safely to the campuses over a period of five weeks from the beginning of the next semester after the Christmas break.
“Students on all remaining courses should be offered online learning from the beginning of term so they can continue their studies at home, and should be asked to return to their university over a two week period from 25 January,” she added.