Calls for Covid vaccine centres to be set up on university campuses to ramp up uptake among students

The Government has been urged to set up Covid vaccine centres on university campuses to help students get both doses of their vaccinations ahead of winter.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 1:34 pm

Opposition Labour MPs are urging the Government to “get a grip” following two days of “contradictory briefings” on student vaccinations and to work with universities in their bid to get students double jabbed as soon as possible.

Their call was made following plans by Boris Johnson to make vaccinations mandatory for students in order for them to attend lectures this autumn or stay in halls of residence, a move said to be related to low vaccination rates among young people.

Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, Kate Green, said the Government should instead support students to get their jabs immediately and stop “the chaotic briefings”.

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Students queue at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield to get their Covid vaccinations

She said: “It is essential that all eligible adults get their vaccine. Instead of criticising young people, the Conservatives must get a grip and help them to get their jabs, including by setting-up vaccine centres on university campuses.

“The chaos, delay and incompetence at the heart of Boris Johnson’s government is costing lives and has cost thousands of students their university experiences.

“Supporting all students to get double jabbed ahead of winter will help reduce disruption on campus and limit the spread of the virus, helping to protect the NHS as we head towards winter.”

Labour said setting-up vaccine centres on university campuses could help reach the 1.7 million under 25-year-old students to stem the spread of the virus.

It claims the Government has “recklessly pushed ahead with lifting restrictions”, despite rising numbers of young people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19, whilst “failing to support universities to put mitigations, such as increased ventilation, in place on campuses, leaving providers millions of pounds out of pocket.”

The opposition party added that high infection rates among young people are also likely to delay vaccinations, with people infected between their first and second doses being required to wait a further 28 day before getting their second jab.

Sheffield’s director of public health, Greg Fell, said: “I cannot say strongly enough how important it is to get fully vaccinated – it’s our best way back to some sense of normality.