International students in Scotland will be able to get their vaccine as part of the national jab rollout, the Scottish Heath secretary has said.
Humza Yousaf announced the plans for the coming academic year 2021-2022 where it’s estimated that around 65,000 international students could be attending Scottish universities.
According to the government’s targets, Scottish students should have already received their first dose by the start of term. But if some international students need their first or second dose in Scotland, the government is working towards plans to ensure they can get them.
In a statement, the Health secretary said, “of course many will be from countries where there is a mature vaccination system and they will already be fully or partially vaccinated. However, some may not yet have been vaccinated or may still require a second dose and we are currently working with the Universities and Colleges Scotland as well as local health boards to firm up plans for these students.”
The plans are in line with existing guidelines from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). It’s a move that has been welcomed by universities across the country.
The director of Universities Scotland, Alastair Sim, has said that “international students are an integral part of Scotland’s university community. 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.”
The plans are hoped to protect incoming students during their studies, and prevent possible further transmission. The Health secretary said getting everyone vaccinated is crucial to bringing coronavirus under control.
Mr Yousaf added, “We continue to urge everyone to take up their appointment for a vaccine when it is offered and remember the second dose offers greater and longer protection against the virus.”