Russell Group universities join national vaccination effort

15 December 2021

Booster jab pop up sites are being set up on campuses across the country as Russell Group universities support the national effort by offering space, facilities and staff to help the NHS.

Throughout the pandemic, universities have played their part in helping to get the UK population vaccinated by offering facilities for vaccination centres and volunteers to help support them.

Following the Prime Minister’s pledge to offer everyone aged 18 or above the chance to get a booster jab before the New Year, many Russell Group universities have been in touch with their local health agencies to offer new booster pop up sites or keep existing centres running over the next several weeks.

Oxford, Exeter, Manchester, Glasgow, UCL, York, Imperial, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Queen Mary University London and Birmingham are among those who have offered spaces for pop up vaccination or testing sites.

Russell Group universities are also ramping up efforts to encourage students to take up the offer of booster jabs now they are available, supporting the Government’s Get Boosted Now appeal. ONS survey data shows that vaccination rates among university students are significantly above the national average, with around 90% double vaccinated already.

Campuses have remained open with a range of measures in place to protect students and staff as the Government set out its clear ambition to prioritise and protect in-person teaching and learning.

Commenting, Chief Executive of the Russell Group Dr Tim Bradshaw said:

“Our universities are vital parts of their communities and take their responsibilities well beyond the campus gates.

“Our researchers, technicians and other staff have been at the centre of efforts to develop life-saving vaccines and vital new treatments for Covid-19 and to understand as much as we can about the virus, but we have also worked with local NHS and public health authorities to offer hands on support to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

“Now that the vaccination programme needs to ramp up again to slow the spread of the virus and keep our local communities, staff and students safe, our universities will do everything they can to support this national effort.

"The response from Russell Group students and university staff to the vaccination drive has been fantastic and every day more and more people are stepping forward to protect themselves, their communities and reduce pressure on the NHS. Whether it's first jab, second jab, or boosters we would encourage everyone who can get vaccinated to do so as soon as possible and our universities are here to help.”

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