With successful vaccination programs taking place all across the globe, the Government of Scotland will also be providing COVID-19 vaccines to international students. The Scottish government published a press release announcing their move to vaccinate international students as well. The press release stated that the move was aimed at protecting international students while they pursue higher studies in Scotland.
Humza Yousaf, the Health Secretary, highlighted that the changes to the national vaccination programme will be as per the guidelines outlined by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation for the 2021-22 academic year.
In his statements, Yousaf commented that efforts were being put into ensuring that vaccinations are offered to all. The success of the programme and the efforts taken is crucial in controlling the virus, he added.
Through the inclusion of international students within the programme, Scotland is expected to witness almost 65,000 overseas students studying in the country for the 2021-21 academic year, as per the latest data, Yousaf added.
Yousaf also pointed out that since many countries have successfully carried out vaccination programmes, however, it is important to vaccinate those who are yet to be vaccinated or need a second dose of the vaccines. Yousaf stated that they are working with the University and Colleges Scotland along with the Health Boards to develop vaccination strategies for international students.
Welcoming the move made by the government Alastair Sim, the Director of Universities Scotland emphasised the importance of the international student community to the universities, and therefore, must be vaccinated equally like the other students in the country.
Sim added that vaccinations will aid in returning to normalcy. Further, providing international students with the information that they will be safe when they arrive in the country during such unprecedented times is also crucial, thus, allowing a sense of security and well-being among the students.
Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland backed the government’s move towards vaccinating international students, commenting on the importance of the sense of security and protection a student must receive when pursuing education abroad.