Vaccinate all UK university students by September, says union
By - Steven1958
Not sure what this actually means. They say students should be treated as a priority group but any student who wants a vaccine can already easily get one
You can easily get the first dose however the difficulty is getting everyone double doses prior to September
If you get vaccinated today, 8 weeks from now is the 17th of September.
There isn't really a shortage right now. Anyone that wants a vaccine can get one.
Not sure what the union is even asking for?
Yeah I don't get it. Anyone who wants to be vaccinated has had the option for weeks. I'm 25 and getting my second dose in two weeks, it's not like young people are sitting at home desperately waiting for an invite.
Purely anecdotal, but many people I know who are 18/19 would love to be vaccinated but must wait because they have already contracted covid recently.
well in that case if they get a single dose after then they're pretty well protected until their second dose because of natural antibodies. should carry them over til they're fully vaccinated even if term has started.
That doesn't give you access to all the proposed passport events.
A month, actually. They'd therefore have the 2nd dose by the end of August.
Not saying the article says this, but the doses could be reduced to 3-4 weeks, as they have done in Israel, USA and Canada.
There is evidence that the elderly may benefit from better immune response by waiting 12 weeks. But university students are not elderly.
>s, but the doses could be reduced to 3-4 weeks, as they have done in Israel, USA and Canada.
Evidence pointing to 12 weeks being a better immune response than 3-4 weeks.
In Israel they are seeing immunity drop drastically, but we arent seeing that in the UK. Long term, a longer gap seems to be a much bigger win.
I don't think teaching unions should dictate this country's health policy.
Interesting point. And I hope there is something to that.
But, immunity seems to wane once you are double vaccinated. Ie Israel is finding that those double dosed in January are less immune than those double dosed in April, and so on.
As our gap has been so big, (11 weeks now reduced to 8) we are only just finishing double dosing. So in 4-6 months we will see whether a longer gap between doses has less waning immunity.
I saw an article recently stating that 8 weeks appears to be the optimum interval. Read it quickly in passing so don’t have the reference.
According to the article one of the things they want is for younger students to be vaccinated, which is reasonable. Thanks to the JCVIs decision there will be lots of unvaccinated or partly vaccinated 17 year olds heading to uni this year.
Fair enough, you are right that I'm probably exxaggerating a little. I'm biased because I started uni at 17 and wasn't part of any accelerated program or jumped any years of school
I was just one of the youngest in my year. Googling the question I found that there are some 17 year olds at uni but hard to find percentages. The issue is that the young people will be concentrated in the same classes as they will all be first years. But if it's only 1% of first years or some such then that's clearly not an issue.
Are you aware of what age Scottish students typically start university?
>we're talking about the vaccine rollout rules set by the central government
No, it's the JCVI who make the reccomendations, and all the devolved governments have always followed their reccomended actions and have said they will continue to do so. Scotland does not have it's own expert vaccine advisory board.
>So even if 100% of Scottish first year students were still 17 at the start of term (which they won't be) we're still talking about an small minority, which in reality will be much, much, much smaller.
But...not in Scottish universities. I'm not sure why the conversation has shifted to Scotland anyway, but it does demonstrate that if the goal of the JCVIs reccomendations was to have uni students vaccinated before they started, it may take a bit of flexibility based on nation and specific circumstances rather than just vaccinating everyone at 17 years and 9 months.
Again, depends on how many 17 year olds there are at uni, which if miniscule I agree isn't much of an issue. But you'd think it would be an easy fix that students enrolled in uni could get vaccinated once they've enrolled.
The reason conversation had shifted to Scotland is because there are a LOT more 17 year olds starting university in Scotland than in England, for a variety of reasons including the fact that Scottish secondary school is only 6 years rather than 7 plus different cut offs for birth dates against academic years. Scottish unis also start a couple of weeks earlier.
(Disclaimer - I live in Scotland but wasn’t educated here so only have a theoretical understanding of this)
Most of the major universities are 20-30% international students, and those students pay significantly higher fees than UK students - to all intents and purposes, they keep the universities afloat.
Many will have had the chance to be jabbed in their home countries, especially those from east Asia where there are advanced vaccination programmes, but there will be a large number of international students who won't have been offered a jab at home by September. Those people should be given a jab in the UK.
However, the timetables make this really hard - you arrive in September, get a first jab, but then have to wait two months (most of the first semester) for your second. I'm not sure how it'll work in practice - it is a potential good use for J&J, should this arrive in time and be approved for the relevant age group.
Exactly - this is the key issue. And not to forget this also includes EU students who also may not have been doubly vaccinated come September.
I actually think this is a huge problem for universities - given the fact that there will definitely be some required in-person attendance next year. What's going to happen, for example, if you are a student coming from India or another red list country? Good chance you won't be vaccinated, plus you'll need to do a hotel quarantine on arrival.
This is true, but as far as I know as an Eu student most of my peers returned home and got their vaccines, most are double jabbed. At least in my home country they have been vaccinating anyone over 18 since mid may, and they have only a 3 week break between doses unlike the one in the uk which is 8.
Luckily enough I got jabbed in the uk so I will have both NHS and EU vaccine certificates, so lucky me I guess. Whereas my boyfriend who got jabbed in the EU will only have the EU vaccine certificate.
You do realise that in general East Asian countries are well behind Europe on their vaccination programmes?
Are you seriously implying that most UK international students come from such countries?
China's vaccination status is complicated - it's hard to get reliable info from the gvt, and their vaccines are less effective than Pfizer/Moderna. But from what I've found they've given enough doses to fully vaccinate half their population, hardly "well behind" Europe. Yes there are countries such as India, Nigeria and Hong Kong that are definitely behind Europe in vaccinations. But that overlooks the EU, US and Chinese students.
I am an EU student that graduated recently. I got a vaccine as soon as I could, and it ended up being end of June. That means no second jab until beginning of October with the given 12 week gap. Certainly not in time for the majority of unis starting. Furthermore, I was able to get my second dose yesterday at home, but the UK refuses to recognize the EU pass and it looks like I will not be able to get the NHS pass for the foreseeable future. They should at minimum commit to recognizing the EU, US and other passes by September (or as many as feasible), and should consider reducing the gap as low as possible for students. I can tell you that it is hard to get your friends motivated to get vaccinated with the slogan "normal is just 14 weeks away!" While they are on summer break.
Hi. I work in a UK university. While the figures quoted represent those enrolled on 'traditional' uni courses, they don't include the vast majority of internationals who are studying on campus at 'sister' organisations. In other words, they're out by a factor of about 10.
Just to note, Hong Kong's vaccine uptake is dismal at best. All 18+ adults have been offered BioNaTech (Pfizer) since around April. All 12+ have been offered for a month now. Demand is so low that its quite easy to book an appointment, even after all the lottery offers (including a flat worth £1 million+).
Only Singapore and China have a significant amount of people vaccinated in East Asia.
As far as I know because of certificate, some people got 2 mRNA doses after two inactivied virus vaccine doses. They are still alive....not the best solution though
There are two issues:
1. Getting the second doses in.
2. There are rather a lot of people going to university in September who are currently under 18. It is not currently possible for them to book their first dose before their 18th birthday (so potentially not get their second dose + 2 weeks until almost the end of their first term at university). The obvious solution would be for them to be allowed to book immediately, rather than waiting for their birthdays, which would speed things up and allow them to get their second doses in September, and so have full immunity coming in just about when they go to university.
Do students now routinely get a meningitis booster? My feeling is we should be setting up vaccinations in every student union and every year 13 common room.
No idea what the comment was you were replying to, but Uni Students are encouraged to get a MEN ACWY vaccine. [https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/men-acwy-vaccine/](https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/men-acwy-vaccine/)
Very odd. Fairly sure it wasn’t controversial. Thanks for the info - hopefully they can sync both jabs.
By priority it should read, students eligible and capable of having a vaccine not allowed on campus until having both vaccines. Education needs to open and CEV and the workers need protecting from the students. Especially with all the boozing and partying the would like to be doing.
I'm off to uni this year and have already had my first and am booked to have my second start of september. will probs be able to move it forward soon anyway
not sure how this is going to work because most universities are wanting to mixed online and mandate wearing masks
Mask mandates? I’ve been told mine can’t require masks as it’s against the DfE.
ye my uni has said in september we still have to mask up but i don’t mind masking up, in the UK btw
For sure, I do and will continue to. I just find it odd that mine has come out and said they legally can’t require them if that’s not the case.
Ye i will continue to wear a mask and it’s probs cos my uni was in a hotspot for virus
I currently work in a university and regardless of law we have to wear masks indoors campus wide until at least September
The law they cited is specifically about students, not employees. I only point that out because I’m not sure if “we” is referring to the entire campus body, or staff.
Edit to add: if this is not the case, I’d love to know because I’m in a high risk group, and am concerned that they are not enforcing a mask policy. I did try to look up the “law”, but couldn’t find it :|
I am a PhD student if that gives you any solace - currently in our department anyone in the building has to wear a mask.
Why we've already been told that it will still be online anyway..
Prioritising students so they can sit on Zoom is pretty pointless with the current roll out basically doing the same thing
I don’t understand why it’s online when there’s no legal restrictions?
Yeah, tell me about it…
Just means I won’t go to any lectures again, much easier to manage a hangover from bed than an auditorium
But learning to be functionally hungover is one of the most important life skills you can learn at university!
This makes me a bit sad. I graduated from my masters last year but I miss lectures and university learning in general
I don't know who misses lectures, but glad you enjoyed them I must be going to the wrong lectures
I studied History and French so I benefitted from having a large amount of variety in what I studied and also absolutely loving my subjects. A lecture on Troubadour poetry or the the rise of Puritanism? Yes please. I think the only ones I ever disliked were French grammar lectures, which really needed to be seminars
That's good, idk why people are downvoting my opinion of saying lectures suck. I know I'm not going miss them.
True! ‘Hybrid learning’ should be okay
As far as I can tell, this is what everywhere is doing. Not sure where the person above is getting their information from.
Yeah we’ve got “blended learning” but it’s a load of bs. Most courses will be 100% online.
Just so we’re on the same page, are you saying that you expect the in-person bit to be cancelled, or that you’ve got courses next year that are being advertised as online-only?
Edit: I’m an academic, so I appreciate that I’m seeing and experiencing things from a different angle to you, as a student.
Nah it’s just that they called last year “blended learning” and I didn’t have a single in person class nor have I met any of my coursesmates. And now they’re saying they’re continuing with blended learning. To be fair I know some people at my uni who had in person stuff but it was very very limited.
Means you can have more students working remotely than In a class so more money
More students means more teaching space is required, whether your in-person component is lectures or seminars/tutorials.
It's not that easy to switch quickly between online material and in person. We don't know if there will be more restrictions in autumn or winter so better to plan for it to a be online and shift some to be in person on the fly, then plan to be reopened completely and then have to go back online.
There may be some financial reasons too I don't know, I just know from my sister who is a lecturer that sudden lockdowns are a disaster for teaching.
Every single other sector or industry is facing the exact same issue. Yet ONLY universities have jumped the gun and said they will operate online.
I work for a university. A lot of the issues are related to rooms. If social distancing suddenly comes back - and it's by no means a remote possibility - then the university simply doesn't have enough rooms to provide in-person teaching for all students. There's also the issue that one in-person lecture would have to be delivered 4-5 times to allow for all students to attend in smaller groups.
A lot of universities are looking at this and choosing to retain *lectures* as online delivered content. A lot of journalists are looking at this decision and saying "university is online next year!". That's not the case. With a following wind, most university activities - including the important social and extra-curricular activities - will go ahead in person. Putting 100-person large lectures online *reduces* the chances of those other activities being cancelled or students having to isolate (and be unable to attend those activities) due to a case in a large lecture theatre.
I also work at a university. In large cohorts, where lectures have to be delivered more than once to a year group (because lecture theatres have a hard cap on capacity in any event), this requires the services, and expense, of several lecturers. Steaming removes this additional cost. In person seminars are also often led by PhD students or early career academics, who are either free (building an academic portfolio) or cheap (bottom of the pay scale). In many cases, moving to an online delivery platform would enable a 'stack em high' method of harvesting as much student income as possible while reducing the servicing expenditure. This is particularly true in Humanities.
Can confirm. The amount of sessional teaching and temporary lectureships out there is soul destroying. University teaching is effectively finished as a serious career option which is bad for both academics and students. Longer term it's also bad for the universities but most of them don't seem to be able to plan beyond breaking ground on the next sports centre they can shove in the marketing brochure.
So daft question why do I still have to pay 9.25 k for tuition then if you just said it will be cheaper ? I'm all good for online lectures if I get a cut in how much I pay.
Clearly this is bullshit for you and generally your demographic has been treated like crap throughout.
My brother works in IT infrastructure at a uni and I know they have totally spanked the budget in the last year adapting to the pandemic. So they will be trying to recoup losses atm
Doesn't make it any fairer on you, but I know at least some of the unis have lost money this year and aren't just profiteering.
But why not plan for social distancing to not come back, since this is currently the most likely outcome, and do lectures in person with a backup plan for online? With the current plans, most students will not have to isolate if there are cases in lecture theatres (double vaccinated rule), and the government is expected to give the maximum amount of leeway to schools and universities possible with social distancing rules.
Treating cases in the university as a huge deal when outside the university the current government plans are to all but ignore them is a dichotomy that makes it look as if universities are stuck in 2020 and only doing this for financial reasons.
To do that, you effectively have to create two programmes, one to be delivered in person and another to sit on the shelf ready to be delivered online should social distancing or (god forbid) lockdown return.
You can't just stick the in-person lectures online without creating a poor quality experience for students - it's what happened in March 2020 and it wasn't great. Online learning materials really have to be designed for online, so you'd be giving teaching staff twice the work to produce two sets of materials.
In the before times, we just recorded our lectures and gave them as normal and called it lecture capture. It may be a poorer experience than a bespoke online only lecture, but since in person lectures are both valuable and more likely than not to be allowed, it seems worth the tradeoff to only create an in-person programme.
A lot of institutions (including my own) are not physically equipped for lecture capture.
Considering they’ve had a hybrid model for the previous entire academic year, all the content is already created and can be reused...quite simply this is just a way for universities to slash costs.
The lecturing staff are petrified still. That’s what it is now coming to.
My uni is planning on doing online lectures but face to face tutorials.
Which university has announced there will be no in-person teaching, and (the more important point) no migration of students in for halls, etc?
Manchester has announced that lectures will be online.
Manchester are combining online lectures with in-person small-group teaching, which from the perspective of universities and social mixing is not the same thing at all as wholly online learning.
It’s not your fault that you didn’t realise that, though. The article does a poor job of explaining what the announcement actually was. And Manchester deserves everyone’s assumption that they are acting in bad faith after the way they treated their students in the 2020-21 academic year.
My 18 year old son has done it all right. Got his vaccine as soon as he could and now got covid. Ten days of isolation losing two weeks wages and can't claim the £500 payment as not on UC. All this after no prom, no exams, no social life. Utterly disgusting.
The £500 isnt for people on UC on covid it’s for those who can’t work from home isnt it?
We filled in the form and got refused. Any hints would be welcome.
In Somerset the £500 is for benefit claimants only :(
I shall investigate and report back. Fingers crossed!
And this is despite the UCU themselves being against vaccine passports.
Forcing university students to get vaccinated is essentially putting in place vaccine passports for university students.
It seems they really don't care what happens to students as long as it benefits the members of the UCU.
Do you care what happens to the vulnerable students in that population? Or vulnerable staff?
Then why would you support purposefully unvaccinated students being on campus? We already know vaccines can be quite ineffective in some CEV groups and others with compromised immune systems like cancer patients. Ensuring students are vaccinated provides another layer of protection to these folks.
It’s been done in many places. Not having vaccines is a barrier to education for vulnerable students, people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. It’s sad that society has reached a level of ignorance whereby mandatory vaccinations to access things is even being discussed, but we are where we are. Do we act or wait until we start having more measles outbreaks? Or polio? Or many of the other diseases that no longer pose a threat due to vaccination?
Seeing the stupid reasons people give for refusing vaccinations makes me think discussion is pointless. If someone is dim witted enough to be taken in by all the guff on social media then the government needs to act in the interests of the country as a whole. If that means vaccines for access to certain things, then so be it.
Universities for one. One persons ignorance does not entitle them to endanger those around them.
The main issue will be 17 year olds who won’t turn 18 until late august. Hopefully they can book and get at least 1 dose before heading off. All current students should have already had one. Cambridge told us to all get doses ASAP, so our second ones are done before term starts.
In the USA most universities seem to be making it mandatory to attend campus. We should have the same here (with exceptions for anyone under 18 as they can't get it freely).
Expectations in Universities in the US seem to be far, far different to most of the UK. At least comparing my experience to my wife who's from North America.
Lots of "mandating" things in the US, where as in the UK (at least my experience) you were a paying adult and that was always considered. Clearly you'd need to hit some benchmarks (and obviously pass exams), but it does feel like the US system is a basic extension of high school and you're still seen as a child (maybe a bit harsh).
I think the challenge is that the US doesn't have a strict data protection law like GDPR, so individual universities can request medical information there but it's much harder here.
So the government would have to mandate it.
I went to university in the US 12ish years ago and I had to get a round of standard boosters before I was allowed to attend. It seemed a good idea at the time, too. It wasn't illnesses that would likely be dangerous for me, but ones that could have been dangerous if I'd spread them to young children or pregnant women (whooping cough etc.). Actually the first time I used the words herd immunity out loud, when the nurse apologised for the jab and I told her that it was fine, I understood that herd immunity was important.
I currently am a student and I don’t understand this. We can get vaccinated just as easily as anyone else now, just wait for your appointment. I’ve just had my second Pfizer
It's the student union. They're that friend you have who joins in a fight saying "YEH! YEH!" But doesn't actually do anything to help.
Just throw money at them to shut them up.
It's actually the university teacher's union if you read the first paragraphs of the article.
The 'stupid' gap that improves vaccine efficacy?
What exactly is stupid about it if they’ve justified it stating it helps the potency of the jab multiple times when they decided this would be the plan of action
Literally an earlier post today:
In one ear and out the other with some people 🥲
Oh wow, what a shock turns out that immune systems of 20 year olds are not a completely different thing to that of 80 year olds, like people here have been loudly insisting the past few months.
I dont think it's fair to say they 'knew' when drafting and deciding the policy. They thought it would work and it seems like it does after they studied it.
It's how it works for literally every other vaccine in existence, so it was a pretty solid bet.
True but this person statements just hot air 7 months down the line
Could give them all a first dose then hold walk in vaccine clinics at all Universities during Freshers week to finish them off. I think the 8 week gap is more about supply than anything else. All over 18s have already been offered the jab, and Universities don't need government to enforce face coverings and mandatory vaccination for students surely they can create those rules on their own if they want them?
Yeah, universities regularly run vaccination campaigns for first years anyway (meningitis I think?) so that’s an option. Especially if it’s through the national system, doesn’t really matter if 1st and 2nd doses are in different places.
> I think the 8 week gap is more about supply than anything else.
I thought that at first, I don't think that's the case any more. Doses have been through the floor for a few weeks now. I can't see it being anything to do with supply. The people I talk to now who haven't been vaccinated either don't want it, aren't bothered or hesitant.
There may be some young prospective uni students who aren't 18 yet so it's not all of them.
I think they just need to make it like the meningitis vaccine, that was something we were asked about when I went to uni.
It is currently 9-10 weeks before most university terms start.
I suppose antivaxxers are less likely to care about visiting a sub about covid, I'm sure when they post it on Facebook, they will be out in force with their theories
How do anti vaxxers have anything to do with the article? I read it thoroughly and see no mention of them.
Well, then the UK must have more sane people than this country. Over here anything that starts with "vaccinate all" immediately attracts all kinds of crazies.
Yeah the UK has one of the lowest rates of anti vax people in the world, weirdly because Andrew Wakefield started here and when he was here he was really only anti MMR in children not completely anti-vax, and then we all realised he was a hack and chased him away to America.
Over here in NL we now have protestors marching to compare our government to nazi germany ...
Kinda ridiculous but I get why people on the mainland are very wary about government overreach.
Good policy would be inviting school leavers early - so they are vaxxed when they move onto the next stage, uni, work placement, etc. and having walk in vaccinations near large uni campuses for international students (but also any other students, staff and local community) during the introduction month. But I think this might be too sensible. What will likely happen is it will be left until September, outbreaks of cases and more students quarantining in their HMOs and a cobbled together policy.