More than 80 per cent of Staffordshire University students are already fully vaccinated, according to a survey carried out as part of activities to ensure its campuses remain COVID- safe.
The survey, which will continue over the coming weeks, has so far received more than 4000 responses with 80 per cent of students reporting that they have received both doses of the vaccine and almost 10 percent now awaiting their second.
The results of the anonymous survey are being shared with the Department for Education to provide an indication of the vaccination status of new and returning students.
The University has now hosted a number of pop-up vaccination centres on its Stoke-on-Trent campus and the next, run in conjunction with Hanley, Bucknall and Bentilee Primary Care Network (PCN), is set to take place this Wednesday 29 September during Welcome Week.
Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes CBE DL said: “As we start the new term, it is really encouraging to know that a large percentage of our student population are already fully vaccinated. This is a huge step in ensuring that we can offer a safe and vibrant, on-campus experience for our students.
“Throughout the pandemic, our priority has always been our staff and students’ health and wellbeing. We have taken various steps to ensure our campuses remain COVID-secure including vaccination pop-up clinics and running a community Lateral Flow Testing Centre, and we will continue these measures going forward.”
So far, more than 1,400 students and staff have been vaccinated at three pop-up centres.
Rhys Reynolds, 21, an undergraduate studying Concept Art for Games and Film, said: “Before leaving for the summer, I chose to get my first COVID-19 vaccination at the first Staffordshire University pop-up centre. I was very eager to get my jabs done so I could come back in September and make the most of my next two years of university.
“I had no problems booking my jabs with the University and was pleased to see how many other students were just as eager as I was. The centre was packed the entire time I was there! I think for students wanting to make the most of their University experience, they should definitely consider getting their vaccinations if they haven’t already!”
Hannah Blackburn, Staffordshire University Student Union President 2021/2022, said: “It’s been so amazing seeing how many of our students have been vaccinated and hearing the positive feedback we have had from our pop-up vaccination centres. I myself was straight in there when the pop-up centres were held so I could receive my jabs, along with the other Officers and many Union staff members.
"It’s about protecting yourself and the people around you, and seeing so many of our students and staff act so responsibly and enthusiastically has been incredible and sets a good tone for the year ahead.”
The University has been offering on-site lateral flow testing since December 2020, and is continuing to provide free home testing kits through the Universities Home Testing Programme.
The University’s ‘Swabbing Centre’ on Leek Road is run in conjunction with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and offers lateral flow rapid testing for anyone who does not have COVID-19 symptoms.
Staff, students and members of the public are able to book a lateral flow test at LRV by visiting https://www.stoke.gov.uk/bookacovid19test