No Compulsory Covid-19 Vaccination When Students Return
On Monday 30 August 2021, writing in the Nottingham Post, Gurjeet Nanrah, Life Writer, and Lana Adkin reported that Covid-19 vaccination will not be compulsory for returning staff and students at Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University.
Nottingham universities say covid vaccines are not compulsory
Some residents agree with the decision, while others have concerns
Nottingham's two universities have both said returning students and staff will be 'encouraged' to get their Covid-19 vaccine, but this will not be made compulsory.
Students at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and the University of Nottingham will mostly be returning from the end of next month, and both have issued guidance online on how students - including those from abroad - can get a vaccination here in the UK.
Those returning to the city for the start of the new term will be encouraged to visit walk-in vaccination centres such as King's Meadow Campus and Forest Recreation Ground.
Residents speaking in the city centre have shared mixed opinions on the decision to not make vaccinations compulsory.
Tools and online resources have also been set up to answer any concerns members of the universities might have about the vaccine.
A spokesperson for the University of Nottingham said: "We are currently campaigning to support vaccinations across our student body, contacting students at their home and term-time addresses to encourage them to take up double vaccination as soon as it is offered.
"Students can receive vaccinations at their home addresses, our on-campus Cripps Health Centre and the vaccination centre which we host on our King's Meadow Campus.
"Twice-weekly Covid-19 testing will be expected for all students and staff working on campus, using our in-house asymptomatic testing service, which simply requires a saliva sample, and the results are returned within 48 hours."
To answer questions and concerns about the vaccine, students and staff at the University of Nottingham can access covidvaxfacts.info/ - a new website created to answer any concerns.
The website gathers information and evidence from independent experts working in the areas of immunology, vaccines and Covid-19.
One city student, Abigail Hotchkiss, 19, said: "It [the vaccine] should be compulsory unless you can't get it."
Professor Kavita Vedhara from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, has led the team that put together the site.
Nottingham Trent University has also confirmed that it will be encouraging all staff and students to get their vaccinations although it will not be compulsory.
Anyone coming to campus is also encouraged to have twice-weekly lateral flow tests.
A statement on the NTU website reads: "We're encouraging all our students to get their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible.
"There's no need to book – you can simply turn up at any of the main vaccination sites without an appointment to receive your jab.
"Alternatively, you can book your vaccination at a specific time and location on the NHS website. Although appointments can be changed please consider where you will be living for the date of your second vaccination."
One city resident, Jenny Dove, a 43-year-old teacher said: “I’m a little bit divided on that because I do think people should have the right to decide whether or not they want it.
“I understand that a lot of the people that work there might be vulnerable or susceptible to the virus and are double-jabbed.
“So I appreciate maybe that the people that work there want students to be double-jabbed but students might not choose to, so I am divided.”
Both universities have also said - in line with Government guidance - that wearing a face mask on-site will be down to personal judgement, however there remains an expectation that face coverings should be worn in crowded indoor spaces, such as on public transport.
Steven Mellor, a 47-year-old self-employed joiner said: “My partner's daughter is at Leeds University and she’s just had her first jab.
“I think it should be up to the individual, it should be the individual's choice.”
Nottingham City Council’s Director of Public Health, Lucy Hubber, said: “Young people have been fantastic at taking up the vaccine offer, and there are higher rates of uptake in the student-age population (19-24) than in people aged 25-40 in Nottingham. When international students return and their vaccination status is recorded, we expect this rate to increase further.
“The universities in the city have been incredibly proactive at working with us to encourage students to get vaccinated and have been regularly communicating with current and new students before term starts.
"We welcome the integration of a vaccine offer into fresher week activities, so that it will be very easy for unvaccinated students to get advice and make an informed choice to get vaccinated."