Fife university students urged to get Covid vaccine
NHS Fife has been urged to launch a promotional campaign to encourage students, who missed the chance to get vaccinated over the summer, to access the service.
North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie and Student Association president Lottie Doherty met last week to discuss a range of issues facing students in the town, including potential drop-in clinics for returning students.
In a letter to NHS Fife, the MSP called on the health board to host a local campaign to raise awareness about the drop-in centres, targeting students that may have been missed from the vaccination programme due to not having a permanent address or a local GP over the summer break.
Lottie, who graduated this year in Art History & Philosophy and was elected in March this year to serve as Student Association president, told the Lib Dem MSP: "In September, students from all over the world will be returning to St Andrews University; it is inevitable that many of them will not have been able to get both of their jabs during the summer break. Some students may not have even received their first vaccination yet due to their age and different vaccination programmes in different countries.
"It has been a difficult year for many students in the university, especially those who have been separated from their close friends and family. The best way to keep themselves and other residents safe, and for life to return to normal, is to ensure everyone has the chance to be vaccinated as soon as they arrive in the town."
Mr Rennie added: "There will be issues when students move home and don’t register with a GP, so they get missed off the vaccination programme. A drop-in centre in St Andrews, ready to go in September, is the simplest way to address that and prevent multiple periods of self-isolation for hundreds of students.
"Staff at NHS Fife are already under a huge amount of pressure and vulnerable people are still at risk. It makes sense to avoid any Covid outbreaks at the University over the Winter months, wherever possible.
"It was great to speak to Lottie last week, she has some first-rate ideas to help support the student population when they return in the Autumn, and I am keen to help where I can."