Scotland includes international students in Covid vaccine rollout…
The move may put pressure on other sectors to follow suit!
International students are to be included in Scotland’s coronavirus vaccination program, the Holyrood government has announced.
Health secretary Humza Yousaf said overseas learners would be included in the vaccine rollout in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation for the coming academic year.
The move will both protect incoming students during their studies and prevent possible further transmission, ministers said.
“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 program,” Mr. Yousaf 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.”
Scotland’s move could give its universities a key advantage in international recruitment, and may put pressure on governments elsewhere in the UK – and potentially further afield – to follow suit.
Alistair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, said: “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.
“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 well-being.”