COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance FAQs


Do I need to be vaccinated in order to start my course? 

No, but we strongly encourage all students to get the vaccine if you are offered one in your home country. If you are coming to the UK from overseas, it is important you still plan your arrival allowing sufficient time to potentially receive two vaccinations before engaging in face-to-face learning.

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Currently all adults aged 18 or over can now get their first or second vaccine jab against COVID-19. During the next phase of the vaccine programme planned to start in September, the category of people eligible to receive the vaccine might be once again prioritised as follows:

  • adults aged 16 years and over who are immunosuppressed;
  • those living in residential care homes for older adults;
  • all adults aged 70 years or over;
  • adults aged 16 years and over who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable;
  • frontline health and social care workers.

Further information on who can get the COVID-19 vaccine (NHS website)

Will I be able to have a vaccination in the UK? 

Yes – all overseas visitors to England can access vaccination against COVID-19. 

International students who live in the UK need to register with a GP (general practitioner) in order to access healthcare in the UK in general. Registration with a GP is encouraged in order to access the vaccine. 

However, you do not require an NHS number or GP registration to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and you should not be denied vaccination on this basis. If you do not have an NHS number or are not registered with a GP, you are still entitled to free COVID-19 vaccinations. You can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice. 

Where can I find my nearest vaccination site?

There will be a a pop-up walking COVID-19 vaccination centre close to LSHTM in Torrington Place, WC1E 7JE on the 29 September open to all our students. Alternatively, if would like to get your vaccination earlier, you can find your nearest vaccination site using the search tool on the NHS website.

Can I purchase my vaccine in the UK to get it early? 

No. The COVID-19 vaccines are not commercially available in the UK. Visit the NHS website to see which groups are currently eligible for the vaccination.   

If I have had a partial or full vaccination course in my home country, will I require further vaccination in the UK?

If you have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, you should receive the same vaccine for your second dose. 

If the vaccine you received for your first dose is not available in the UK, you should be offered the most similar alternative. Your GP will be able to advise you on this. You can also find further information on the interchangeability of different COVID-19 vaccines on the Public Health England COVID-19 vaccination guidance on p.15 (pdf).

Can I choose which vaccine I have?  


You'll be invited when your age group are offered it, or earlier if you have a health condition or reason that means you're eligible. During the booking process, you’ll be asked if you’re pregnant. This is to make sure you’re offered an appointment for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Visit the NHS website for more information. 

If you are under the age of 40, you'll only be shown appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, and not for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Visit the NHS website for more information.

Are international students eligible for the vaccination?

Anybody aged 18 or over in the UK is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.

Do international students need to pay for the vaccine?

Nobody in England has to pay for the COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge and does not count as the kind of care that requires payment. International students or anyone seeing requests for payment should report this activity to their university institution.

Do international students need to be registered with a GP to get a vaccination?

While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, individuals can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

What should an international student do if they’ve received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination abroad, and it is not a vaccine that is being offered in England?

If a person has received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, they should receive the same vaccine for their second dose. If the vaccine they received for their first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered as per the advice here. The student should contact a GP to ensure they receive an appropriate vaccine for their second dose

Where can I find more information?