Mandatory vaccinations for COVID-19 for prospective healthcare students

The government has announced plans outlining that all health and social care workers who have face to face contact with service users in England will need to provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be deployed unless they are medically exempt or under 18 years old. 

The requirement will also affect students on courses that require face to face contact with services users in England, such as those that require health and social care placements. 

The requirements will come into force from 1st April 2022. You can read the Government response to the public consultation here. The policy will not apply to COVID-19 boosters or the flu vaccine at this time, but this is subject to review. 

If you are unable to take the vaccine for health reasons it is important that you inform us at mdsplacements@contacts.bham.ac.uk  

If you opt not to have the vaccine but are eligible, it is also important that you inform us at mdsplacements@contacts.bham.ac.uk so we can provide appropriate advice. This decision may affect your ability to join, or complete, your course as it will not be possible for you to meet the required outcomes to graduate without having completed required placements in a CQC regulated setting. 

It is likely that prior to you commencing your placement, you will be asked by the placement provider to show your vaccination status. The NHS COVID Pass allows you to share your Covid- 19 vaccination records in a secure way. If you were vaccinated in Scotland, you can find out how to obtain your vaccination status from nhsinform.scot. For those of you who may have been vaccinated in Wales, you can find information on how to obtain your Covid- 19 vaccination record from gov.wales. 

Regardless of a person’s nationality or immigration status, COVID- 19 vaccinations are free and available to everyone aged 12 and over in the UK. Whilst it is recommended that you have your second dose at the same place you received your first vaccination, you can get your second COVID- 19 vaccination elsewhere in the UK. To book or manage a Covid vaccination, please visit Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk). If you are unable to book appointments online, please call 119. If you have any questions about your individual health circumstance, please contact your GP directly. 

What does 'fully vaccinated' mean? 

Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID- 19 vaccine in the UK and at least 14 days have passed since your second dose of that vaccine.  

At present, the government has not confirmed whether having mixed doses will be recognised as being fully vaccinated.  In relation to care homes, they do not currently recognise people as fully vaccinated where they have had mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccine or where they have received a full course of a non-MHRA approved vaccine. The government will look carefully at whether or not mixed doses, and if so which forms of mixed doses, should be included in future requirements, including seeking relevant public health advice. The government will also look carefully at whether or not vaccines regulated or administered abroad, should be included in future requirements, including seeking relevant public health advice.

Any questions or concerns? 

If you have any questions about the information found on this page, please contact us at mdsplacements@contacts.bham.ac.uk