1. Do I need to be vaccinated for Covid-19 before entering Scotland/UK to study?

It is not currently a requirement that an international student is vaccinated in order to study in the UK, although you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated before you arrive, if possible.

2. Will I need to be tested for the virus and also have to quarantine on arrival?

If you are a student coming to Scotland for study, you will be subject to current testing and quarantine rules like everyone else.

Further information on testing and quarantine for international students can be found on the Student Information Scotland website: https://www.studentinformation.gov.scot/coronavirus/term-three

3. How do I check what vaccinations I should have when I arrive?

International students should all check to see what vaccination they may need. You can check here www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/internationalstudents

4. I am an international student and I’ve already had a 1st dose of a vaccine that is approved for use in the UK (e.g. Pfizer). How will I get my second dose In Scotland?

Your institution is working with local health professionals and you will be given further information about Covid-19 vaccinations by your institution in due course. The Covid-19 vaccine is provided free of charge in Scotland.

5. I am an international student and I have already had a 1st and 2nd dose of a vaccine that is recognised by the UK. Do I need to do anything?

No. You have an accepted complete course and are therefore up to date at present.

6. I am an international student and I have had no vaccinations for Covid-19 - what should I do?

You will need a course of 2 doses of vaccine (8 weeks apart).

You will be given further information about Covid-19 vaccinations by your institution in due course. The Covid-19 vaccine is provided free of charge in Scotland.

7. I am an international student and I’ve already had a 1st or a 1st & 2nd dose of a vaccine not recognised by the UK. What should I do?

This document is used by health professionals (see table in Appendix 1 of document) and will guide you to what vaccines we recognise, and what would happen in your circumstance : www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-programme-guidance-for-healthcare-practitioners

For vaccines in the final section of the table that are not recognised yet in the UK (based on our evidence review), you will need a further vaccination with a UK recognised vaccine.

You will be given further information about Covid-19 vaccinations by your institution in due course. The Covid-19 vaccine is provided free of charge in Scotland.

8. Where do I find out about the vaccines available in the UK?

Further information can be found at: The coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine (nhsinform.scot) and www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/internationalstudents

9. I have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. Do I still need to follow all Covid-19 guidance and regulations?

Yes. To prevent the spread of the virus to others, it’s important that everyone continues to follow the Scottish Government’s FACTS advice and adheres to Covid-19 guidance. If you experience Covid-19 symptoms, you must still self-isolate and seek a Covid-19 test.

Your institution will provide you with information on guidance specific to universities, colleges and student accommodation. You can also find further information on the Student Information Scotland website.  

10. I currently live in Scotland but will be leaving soon to study abroad. What will happen to my eligibility for vaccination?

You should check with the relevant country’s authorities and your host institution to see what you will need to do before and once you arrive at your destination.

Depending on when you leave Scotland, you may have had none; one or both of the current course of Covid-19 vaccination recommended for you. Currently, all 18-29 year olds in Scotland are scheduled with an appointment for vaccination over June to mid-July. If the date given to you does not suit you, you can visit the appointment checker to view your appointment and look for a reschedule slot: https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccineinvitations  Please be aware that there are clinical reasons why the 2nd dose must be a certain number of weeks after the first – and we cannot go under the guidance (e.g. to fast track a 2nd dose).

People living in Scotland are all being offered vaccines and when you return you will be part of the Scottish population and offered all vaccinations as normal.

11. I am from another part of the UK and planning to study in Scotland. Will I still be able to receive my first/second vaccine dose in Scotland?

Yes, you will be vaccinated in Scotland. Your institution is working on this with your local Health Board and will provide further details in due course.

12. I currently live in Scotland but will be moving to another part of the UK to study for the next academic year. How do I ensure I receive my first/second dose?

Yes, you will be able to receive the vaccines you need within the other UK countries. Please visit their relevant websites.

to find out more; and consider registering with a local doctor in the area you will be living in. The institution you are studying at may also be able to provide information on a local doctor’s practice.

13. What about booster vaccinations?

You may also need a booster at some point in the future. You should also consider registering with a local doctor’s practice, if you have not already done so. When you register with a practice, you go on to a national patient database and get a Community Health Index (CHI) number which helps NHS Scotland invite you for key health care. More information on registering with a local doctor’s practice can be found at: General practice services | NHS inform.

14. I am turning 18 on or before 31 October 2021. Can I get vaccinated?

17 year olds who are due to turn 18 on or before 31 October are now eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

We would urge any of you that this applies to take up this offer before starting your studies with us in September. The more people who are vaccinated against coronavirus, the better we can help reduce transmission and protect the community.

You can self-register for the vaccine through the portal on NHS Inform

15. I am under 18 years old. Can I get vaccinated?

From Friday 6 August, all young people who are 16 or 17 years of age will now be offered the coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination in Scotland. Young people in mainland Scotland will be invited to register their interest through the online portal at NHS Inform, and will then be sent an appointment via SMS or email. Eligible young people in Shetland, Orkney and Western Isles will be contacted by their health board and invited to attend clinics.

In line with the latest advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), they will be offered a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In addition to 16 to 17-year-olds, Scotland has started offering Covid-19 vaccinations to children and young people who are from key groups; and are between 12 to 17 years. 

Vaccinations will be offered to:

  • 12 to 15-year-olds with severe neuro-disabilities
  • 12 to 15-year-olds with Down’s syndrome
  • 12 to 15-year-olds with underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression
  • 12 to 15-year-olds with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD)
  • 12 to 15-year-olds with severe learning disabilities
  • 12 to 17-year-olds who have a diagnosed learning/intellectual disability (mild or moderate)
  • 16-year-olds who have any of these above conditions or  underlying conditions that place them at higher risk of serious Covid-19 (that were not 16 at the time of the previous invite for all 16 and 17-year-olds in March 2021)
  • young people aged 12 years and above who live in the same household of persons (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed (we previously invited over 16s who are household contacts of those on the shielding list)

Read more more about the initiative on the Scottish government vaccination update news article and on the Public Health England press release.