Skip to main content

Students - Is vaccination on your to do list?

Being up to date with all vaccinations is important for all of us, but even more so for students starting university and college who will be meeting, mixing and living with lots of new people. 

Universities can be hot spots for measles, mumps, meningitis and sepsis as well as flu and COVID-19 as they present the perfect opportunity for infections to spread.

Some students who start university for the first time this autumn will have missed routine vaccines earlier in life that protect them against potentially fatal conditions. 

 

 

Tick list for going to college or university

Before leaving for university, check you are up to date with vaccinations.

Even if you have already started university, you should still check with your GP surgery if you are up to date with your vaccines. 

You should have received the following vaccines up to the age of 16 as part of the routine vaccination programme:

  • two doses of MMR vaccine
  • one dose of MenACWY vaccine (available up to your 25th birthday)
  • five doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and polio containing vaccine
  • two doses of HPV vaccine       

Males (born after 01.09.2006) and females can have the HPV vaccine until they reach their 25th birthday. Men who have sex with men (MSM) can have the HPV vaccine up to 45 years of age at a sexual health service.

Also don’t forget to arrange to have the following vaccines

  • an autumn booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine (for those in groups at higher risk from COVID-19) 
  • an autumn Flu vaccine (for those in groups at higher risk from flu)

Also, it’s good to know

  • the signs and symptoms of meningitis and sepsis 
  • how to seek medical advice 

Once you get to university you should 

  • Register with a GP as soon as you can – don’t wait until you have a problem.
  • Arrange with your GP to catch up on any vaccines you have missed or are due.

Do you need to add vaccination to your to do list?

Everyone who can be vaccinated should take up the offer as this helps to protect vulnerable people who can’t be vaccinated for several reasons. Being fully vaccinated helps to stop the spread of infectious diseases and helps protect you, your family, your friends and staff.

To find out if your vaccinations are up to date, please contact your GP surgery.

COVID-19 vaccinations 

You could be eligible for the COVID-19 booster vaccine if you are:

  • working in a care home for older adults
  • a health a social care worker with direct patient contact
  • in a clinical risk group 
  • pregnant
  • a household contact of someone with immunosuppression
  • a carer

To find out more about COVID-19 vaccinations please visit:

 

Flu vaccinations

You could be eligible for the flu vaccine if you are:

  • working in a care home for older adults
  • a health a social care worker with direct patient contact
  • in a clinical risk group 
  • pregnant
  • a household contact of someone with immunosuppression
  • resident in an adult prison
  • a carer
  • someone with a learning disability
  • someone with severe mental illness
  • experiencing homelessness

To find out more about flu vaccinations please visit: 

 

What do I need to do to get my vaccinations?

Contact your GP surgery in the first instance. If you aren’t sure what vaccinations you’ve had, check. If your records are unavailable, or you think you have missed some vaccines, make an appointment to have them with your GP before you leave.

Already at university?

If you have moved to a new city for university and registered with a new GP, they should have your records and can check your vaccinations for you.

If in doubt, have your vaccinations and make sure you are fully protected. Being fully vaccinated, means you have the best protection. No vaccine is 100% effective, so you still should watch out for the signs and symptoms of any disease and look after your health. Then you can get on with enjoying everything that university has to offer.

Know the signs and symptoms

We want everyone to be well and enjoy their time at university but mixing with new people can increase the spread of infectious diseases.

Make sure you have registered with a GP before you are ill. Many new students can catch ‘freshers’ flu’ and will need to rest. You can take over the counter medication such as paracetamol to help you feel better.

If you have symptoms of meningitis or sepsis, measles or mumps you should seek medical advice quickly. Signs and symptoms of meningitis and sepsis can be found at:

 

Feeling ill - tell someone!

You can visit the NHS 111 Wales website or call 111 for advice over the phone.

 

In a medical emergency dial 999.

If you are unwell, tell someone, preferably someone who can check that you are ok and call for help if you are not. Trust your instincts, stay in touch with your neighbours and look out for each other. 

If you think you have COVID-19, please follow the latest government guidance here.