The COVID-19 vaccine is finally here and Sri Lankan students studying in the UK can access it

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine being rolled out across the UK will form a vital part in making COVID-19 a manageable disease

Sri Lankan students pursuing their higher studies in the UK will be able to access the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that is being rolled out across the country. The UK government has expressed its commitment to support international students during COVID-19, with universities’ minister Michelle Donelan writing an open letter to students thanking them for their patience at provisions introduced to tackle the spread of the virus. She has confirmed that the students will not be charged to apply for testing or treatment for COVID-19.

James Pitman, UK and EU Managing Director at Study Group

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of this vaccine overall – enough to immunise up to a third of the population. In fact, the government has secured early access to over 357 million vaccine doses through several vaccine developers. This will enable international students to access these vaccinations, just as they can access healthcare, including older international students or those with underlying medical conditions who will fall into priority categories.

Speaking about the vaccine announcement, James Pitman, UK and EU Managing Director at Study Group said, “We are anticipating some positivity for the forthcoming academic year and would like to take this opportunity to thank our students for showing patience throughout the global pandemic. This vaccine, combined with effective treatments, will be significant in making COVID-19 a manageable disease, thereby allowing us to return to normality soon, so that, going-forward, we can welcome a greater number of Sri Lankan students to the UK.”

The UK is consistently increasing in popularity to international students, with thousands of ambitious students choosing to pursue their qualification in one of the many world-class UK universities. According to 2018/2019 statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), there are currently 485,645 international students pursuing their degree in the UK. In the wake of the global pandemic and locked international borders, UK universities and their International Study Centres have been offering blended learning to students this year, which is a mix of face-to-face and virtual teacher-led learning. With access to Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Sri Lankan students can now be reassured and expect to return on-campus earlier by next year.