As the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine’s news to be rolled out in the UK broke out, several announcements were made related to the subject. One crucial statement that caters to the international students is that they will have access to the vaccine and be provided healthcare at par with their residents. This news has instilled confidence among the students who are already studying or studying in the UK.
In addition to this, the UK’s Universities Minister Michelle Donelan confirmed that no charges should be levied for testing and treatment related to COVID-19 from the international students. As per the government, the vaccine will be made available to priority groups within a week after its approval by the experts from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
The people belonging to the priority group here are care home residents and staff, people aged 80 years and above, and healthcare workers. Afterward, the vaccine will be made available to the rest of the population as per age and risk probabilities. UK has ordered multiple doses of this vaccine, which targets to cover about a third of the UK’s entire population.
Department of Health and Social Care has explicitly mentioned that international students will be able to access the vaccine similarly as they have to access the healthcare facilities in the UK. It would mean that the old international students and those with certain medical conditions and are more susceptible to COVID-19 will fall into the priority category and will be given the vaccine at the earliest.
UK’s government is positive towards the roll-out of the vaccine and is looking forward to normalcy in the coming future. It has also expressed commitment towards the international students’ safety and security by providing them every support they need. Michelle Donelan openly thanked the international students for opting to study in the UK and being patient during the challenging circumstances. She also promised support and guidance to all the students, whether they are presently staying in the UK or taking their classes online from their respective home countries.
The guidance would be provided on the teaching methodology, winter break, travel, and schedule for 2021, physical and mental guidance, COVID-19 immigration concessions, and post-study work permit, among other doubts that may be asked by the students. The international students have been advised to return to their Universities in a period expanded over five weeks. First, the students with practical courses should arrive around January 04th. The students with theoretical subjects can initially study online and return after January 25th, 2021.
Reputation as an excellent study destination is not made in one day. Instead, it takes relentless efforts towards building a supportive environment for international students over the years, even during the most challenging times as that of the pandemic. The UK has demonstrated its will to prioritize international students and providing them support in every way possible.
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