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Four in five students had received at least one Covid-19 jab by August – poll

By PA News

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More than four in five university students had received at least one Covid-19 vaccination by August, a survey suggests.

The figure is now likely to be “considerably higher”, the National Union of Students (NUS) has said, as a further one in 10 said they intended to have a vaccine as soon as possible.

The survey, of more than 5,000 students between July and August, suggests that three in five (60%) students who are moving into halls of residences are concerned about living with others.

This is partly down to a fear of catching Covid-19 and others not following rules and good hygiene, according to the NUS poll.

Amongst students who will be in halls of residences, nearly two in three (64%) agree that all students moving into shared accommodation should get tested for Covid-19 in advance, whilst 11% disagreed.

The findings come as thousands of students have arrived at university campuses across the UK over the past few weeks.

Earlier this month, the NHS’s top doctor called on unvaccinated freshers to get the Covid-19 vaccine at pop-up clinics and walk-in centres at universities to protect themselves and their peers against the virus.

The survey, which closed in August, found that 83% of students had received at least one vaccination and a further 9% either had the jab booked in or they intended to book.

Around half (47%) of students still say that their mental health is worse now than before the pandemic.

Isolation, loneliness and health concerns have led to increased levels of anxiety, stress, worry, depression, and sleep issues, the report suggests.

The NUS is calling on the Government to work with universities to ensure students are offered blended teaching approaches, flexible tenancy contracts, access to mental health and wellbeing services and additional provisions for those particularly concerned about being back on campus.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, vice president for higher education at the NUS, said: “It’s brilliant news that such an overwhelming majority of students have been vaccinated against Covid-19, and I’m not surprised, throughout the pandemic, I’ve constantly been hearing from students who were eager to get jabbed.

“In a period of such uncertainty, where too many students have been suffering from stress and anxiety, or who remain in debt or hardship having paid for accommodation they were then told not to live in for much of last year, the Government must finally acknowledge that the education system is broken.”

A Department for Education (DfE) spokesman said: “Students have shown remarkable resilience over the last 18 months.

“Protecting the mental health of students is vital, which is why we asked the Office for Students to allocate £15 million towards student mental health in addition to the £3m Student Space, a dedicated student mental health and wellbeing platform designed to bridge any gaps in support for students arising from the pandemic.”

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