NHS England COVID-19 vaccination FAQs: students in Higher Education Institutions

18 June 2021

On 18 June 2021, NHS England published COVID-19 vaccination FAQs: students in Higher Education Institutions, including a section for international students.

Please note, this FAQ applies to England only. The vaccination programme is managed by devolved governments in the rest of the UK and colleagues should refer to the latest government information in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

Here is the text of the relevant part for international students:

International students FAQs

Are international students eligible for the vaccination?

Anybody aged 18 or over in the UK is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.

Do international students need to pay for the vaccine?

Nobody in England has to pay for the COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge and does not count as the kind of care that requires payment.

International students or anyone seeing requests for payment should report this activity to their university institution and to Action Fraud. More information on COVID-19 vaccine scams is on the Action Fraud website here.

Do international students need to be registered with a GP to get a vaccination?

While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

How does an international student get an NHS number?

International students can approach their local GP practice, saying they would like to register for the purposes of receiving the vaccine.

Are any dependents of international students also eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination?

Anyone in England is eligible for the vaccine if they fall within the current eligibility criteria set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and should come forward once it is their turn.

How does an international student get a vaccine?

International students should be encouraged to register with a GP and get an NHS number. An NHS number can be found on any letter the NHS has sent you, on a prescription, or by logging in to a GP practice online service. You can also find an NHS number using this tool.

It is possible to request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient by approaching a local GP practice.

While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

Students can be directed to nhs.uk/register for more information on GP registration.

If an international student is not registered with a GP, will they still be invited for their vaccination?

Students who are not registered with a GP will not be proactively contacted by a local NHS service. We encourage all students to register with a GP and they can be directed to www.nhs.uk/register for more information.

However, international students can book their vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service with their NHS number if they have previously received NHS treatment. You can also find an NHS number using this tool.

What should an international student do if they’ve received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination abroad, and it is not a vaccine that is being offered in England?

If a person has received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, they should receive the same vaccine for their second dose. If the vaccine they received for their first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered as per the advice here (see sections on vaccine interchangeability guidance).

The student should contact a GP to ensure they receive an appropriate vaccine for their second dose.

Where can students find more information?

Students should be directed to nhs.uk/covid-vaccination for more information about the Covid-19 vaccine.

Students should be directed to www.gov.uk for information on COVID restrictions.


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