Find out about getting a Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine if you’re a Sussex student.
Reasons to get vaccinated
Getting your Covid-19 vaccination as soon as you can should protect you. It may also help to protect your family and those you care for, as well as others in the Sussex community.
The Covid-19 vaccination should help reduce the rates of serious illness and save lives, and will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services. It will also help us all avoid further lockdowns.
We strongly encourage all students to take part in the vaccination programme against Covid-19, in line with government guidance.
Vaccination prize draw
We encouraged all students, unless unable due to medical reasons, to have both Covid-19 vaccinations. As a thank-you to double-vaccinated students, we offered ten £5,000 cash prizes in a student draw. Find out more about the prize draw results.
Who can get the Covid-19 vaccine
In England, the Covid-19 vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres.
Anyone aged 18 or over in the UK is eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.
How the vaccine is given
The Covid-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.
The currently available vaccines are given as two doses. You will have the second dose 3 to 12 weeks after having the first dose.
You will be invited to have your second dose of the same vaccine at the same location. You can arrange your second vaccine elsewhere, if vaccine stocks in the UK allow, using the National Booking Service or call 119 after you have had your first vaccine.
How to get a vaccination
If you are registered with a GP in England, you will be invited to have the vaccination. You may receive an invitation to book at a large vaccination centre or community pharmacy-led site. This could be online or by calling 119.
If you are not registered with a GP, the NHS will not have your contact details and will not be able to proactively contact you.
Alternatively, you can approach a GP practice and ask to be vaccinated as an unregistered patient.
If you are in Brighton, see details of Covid-19 walk-in vaccination clinics. This information is regularly updated, so double-check the details before you visit. If you know your NHS number, take it with you. If you don't know your NHS number, you can still get a vaccine.
After you’ve had the vaccine
Even when you have received both doses of the vaccine, you must continue to follow government and University of Sussex guidance on social distancing, handwashing and wearing a face covering.
You could potentially still contract Covid-19 following a vaccination and then transmit the virus to people who have not been vaccinated.
See Covid-19 University health and safety guidance before coming on to campus.
We recommend that even once you have been vaccinated, you still get tested until official guidance changes.
Treating others with respect
We recognise that the Covid-19 vaccination programme could be divisive and may lead to the expression of strong opinions with differing views.
We expect you to display behaviours in line with the Dignity and Respect Policy at all times.
Our position on vaccinations
The University of Sussex’s position on vaccination is that it is in favour of vaccinations as an effective means of protecting public and individual health. We strongly encourage all members of the University who are able to do so, to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and other diseases.
At any University vaccination centre run in partnership with the NHS, vaccinations appropriate to the age of the target population will be offered.
As an institution, we are committed to the highest standards of research.
If you have concerns about your suitability for a vaccine or about the vaccination programme, we recommend you contact your doctor or the NHS 111 helpline.
Vaccination status data is classed as private health data and at this time we have decided not to store this data.
If or when the government guidance changes with regard to vaccination data, we will consider whether there is a legitimate requirement to store this information.
Here are some answers to questions about vaccines.
How will I be invited for the Covid-19 vaccination?
The Covid-19 vaccination is being offered to everyone aged 18 or over at local sites run by GPs or community pharmacies, at larger vaccination centres and in some hospitals.
In June 2021 the NHS offered the vaccine to all Sussex students through two “pop-up” temporary clinics on the University of Sussex campus.
Some other students have also received their vaccinations, for example, if they are at higher risk of Covid-19, are on a placement as a frontline health or care worker, are an unpaid carer, or are a household contact of someone who is immune-suppressed.
If you haven’t yet been vaccinated and you are registered with a GP, you can book your appointment at a larger vaccination centre, a pharmacy-run site or at some GP-run sites through the National Booking Service website or by phoning 119.
If you are registered with a GP, you will also receive an invitation to be vaccinated from your GP practice. While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, you can request to book Covid-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.
What do I do if I am registered with a GP in my hometown, but not where I study, or vice versa?
If you are registered with a GP practice, you can book both appointments online through the National Booking Service at a location that is convenient to you, or book a first dose through your GP and a second dose in a different location through the National Booking Service.
How can I access my second dose if I am in a different location to where I had my first dose?
See NHS frequently asked questions on second doses in general.
In general, patients should return to the place they had their first dose to have their second dose. However, it is appropriate for you as a student to receive your second dose in a different location to your first dose.
The National Booking Service has an option to book or re-arrange the second vaccination appointment at a different location to the first appointment.
If you had a first dose in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, but you are in England at the time of your second dose, you should:
- book a second dose through the National Booking Service (if you are registered with a GP in England and therefore have an English NHS number), or
- register with a GP in England and book an appointment that way, or
- approach a local GP and ask to be vaccinated as an unregistered patient.
I am due to start a health or social care placement – can I be vaccinated before my placement starts?
All adults in the UK aged 18 or over should be offered their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by 19 July 2021.
Anyone who starts working in the NHS or in social care and has not been vaccinated should be offered the vaccination through occupational health departments or be aware of where they can access the vaccination through their employer. The second dose should not be brought forward in these circumstances.
What if I am eligible for my first dose in England, but will be abroad for my second dose?
Contact the health service of the country you will be living in when your second dose is due.
How can I obtain a Covid vaccine certificate?
Find out about demonstrating your Covid-19 vaccination status.
An NHS number can be found on any letter the NHS has sent you, on a prescription, or by logging into a GP practice online service. You can also find your NHS number online.
You can request to book Covid-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.
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, you can request to book Covid-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.
If you are not registered with a GP, you will not be proactively contacted by a local NHS service. We encourage all students to register with a GP. If you have previously received NHS treatment, you can book vaccination appointments through the National Booking Service with your NHS number.
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. If you see a request for payment, report this activity to Action Fraud.
What happens if I received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination abroad, and it is not a vaccine offered in England?
If you have received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, you should receive the same vaccine for your second dose.
If the vaccine you received for your first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered.
Contact a GP to make sure you receive an appropriate vaccine for your second dose.
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 and should come forward once it is their turn.