Vaccinations for Essex Students

The Coronavirus vaccination is now available and is free for anyone over the age of 18 in the UK. International students will also be eligible. As University Students we want to support you to get vaccinated in order to protect yourself, fellow students and the campus community you live and study within.

Research shows that vaccines:

  • reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
  • reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
  • protect against COVID-19 variants

If you are an international student planning on returning home and have had your 1st COVID-19 vaccination dose at least 21 days ago, you will be eligible to have your 2nd dose to complete your vaccination course before returning home. This can be done at a walk in clinic or when booking an appointment online.

We will be running NHS vaccination clinics on Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses in the Autumn term during Freshers Week and Welcome Week for you to have your first or second vaccination and these will be detailed below.

NHS Ask the Expert event

In December we held a virtual Ask the Expert event for Health and Social Care students with staff from NHS North East Essex. Watch a recording of the event to find out more about the local vaccination programme.

Booking an on-campus COVID-19 vaccination or seeking advice

If you are a student of the University of Essex you can contact our COVID-19 Test and Trace team for vaccination advice and for assistance in booking an appointment at either a local or on campus vaccination clinic.

Vaccination clinics

We are working with local NHS trusts to make vaccination clinics available locally to our Colchester, Southend and Loughton Campuses.


Regular vaccination clinics are available in the Colchester area and available to find on the Suffolk and North East Essex Vaccination Service webpage.

We have a vaccination clinic offering first, second and COVID-19 boosters of Pfizer available on campus on Wednesday 26 January, taking place on Square 5. To book an appointment please contact our COVID-19 inbox by Friday 21 January providing the following information:

  • The campus you are studying on
  • Number of vaccine doses you have received so far (regardless of the country of origin)
  • The name of the vaccine you have received
  • The date of your last vaccine

This clinic can offer you the COVID-19 booster provided you have had your second vaccination at least 3 months ago and you are over the age of 18 years old.


The local vaccination centre for Southend is based at the Southend Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea SS1 9SB. This is in place of The Cliffs Pavilion which is no longer a vaccination centre.

Pre-bookable and walk-in first and second doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are available for those who are eligible to be vaccinated.

To pre-book an appointment, please call 0344 257 3961.

Walk-in appointments are also available.


We will arrange COVID-19 vaccination clinics on campus, which will be advertised here when confirmed.

The local vaccination centre for Loughton based at St Margaret’s Hospital is not available as a walk-in clinic and should be booked in advance. The address for this location is:

St Margaret’s Hospital
Spencer Close
The Plain
CM16 6TN

Further information about other local vaccination clinics and any popup sites are available on Herts and West Essex COVID-19 website.


COVID-19 vaccine verification clinic

If you have you had a COVID-19 vaccine outside of the UK and want to get this verified to create your NHS COVID pass, our Colchester Campus is hosting a Vaccine Verification clinic on Tuesday 1 February.

You can book an appointment by emailing our COVID-19 inbox at

How the verification clinic works

At your appointment NHS staff will securely check your identify and vaccination evidence. Once this has been done they can update your vaccination record and, from this, your COVID pass can be generated.

The clinic will be able to verify four approved vaccine types only:

  • Astra Zeneca (Vaxzevria)
  • Pfizer (Comirnaty)
  • Janssen
  • Moderna (Spikevax)

You have to attend your appointment yourself so that this information can be checked and matched with either a passport or UK Driving Licence and properly validated.  If NHS staff cannot confirm your identity or vaccination documentation, they will be unable to update your record. 

What you need to bring to your appointment

  • Either you passport or a UK Driving Licence as photographic ID
  • Your NHS number
  • Evidence of the vaccination to be recorded (see requirements below). 

Vaccination evidence

The types of vaccination evidence required are:

  • a Vaccination card (typically issued when a dose is received)
  • a Vaccination post-event email/notification that includes your name and the vaccine type
  • a Vaccination certificate (electronic or paper)
  • Vaccination records and certificates from any country can also be accepted.

The evidence you bring needs to include the following information:

  • Government or site name of where the certificate was issued
  • Name of individual who received the vaccination
  • Date of vaccination for each dose
  • Vaccine product name/brand
  • Number in a series of doses (i.e. 2/2 etc.)
  • Country in which vaccination took place

Vaccination FAQs

The NHS has published a comprehensive set of FAQs below for University students but including advice regarding:

Ask the expert

From concerns about long Covid to how students can book COVID-19 vaccines, the Suffolk and North East Essex Vaccination Service hosted an ‘Ask the Expert’ webinar for students and young people about Covid-19 and the vaccine.

International students

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

While registration with a GP is encouraged to access the vaccine, international students can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice. We encourage all students to register with a GP or you can book a vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service with your NHS number if you have previously received NHS treatment.

Received first vaccination dose overseas

If you 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.

The following three vaccines are currently available in the UK:

  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Moderna

If the vaccine you received for your first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered. You should contact a GP to ensure you receive an appropriate vaccine for their second dose.

Information about the vaccine

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

No, but we strongly encourage all students to get the vaccine if you are offered one in your home country.

Will the University be running a vaccination programme for students?

No, the vaccination programme is run by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). We are however working with our local NHS trust to provide some vaccination clinics on campus.

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

No. The COVID-19 vaccines are not commercially available in the UK.

Can I choose which vaccine I have?

No not typically however, if you are pregnant, or think you might be, it is preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This is because they've been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and have not caused any safety issues.

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.