COVID-19 vaccination guidance
We strongly encourage everyone in our community to get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccination is free for everyone in the UK, including international students.
If you are aged 18 or over and registered with a GP surgery in England you can book your vaccination appointments on the NHS website. You can also get a COVID-19 vaccine if you're aged 16 or 17 - the NHS will contact you when it's your turn to get the vaccine.
Local councils in London have set up pop-up vaccination centres and vaccine buses for walk-in appointments, and there are several large vaccination centres around London which also offer walk-in appointments:
- Westminster: pop-up vaccination centres
- Kensington and Chelsea: vaccine bus
- Hammersmith and Fulham: vaccine bus
- Northwest London large vaccination centres
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to be vaccinated in order to start my course at Imperial?
No, but we strongly encourage all students to get the vaccine if you are offered one in your home country, or to book one once you arrive in the UK if vaccination is not available to you in your home country.
All current medical students have been offered COVID-19 vaccinations. If you are still to be vaccinated, you will need to contact your GP or book in for your vaccination online.
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.
If I have had one dose in my home country and then arrived in the UK, can I have my second dose 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.
The following three vaccines are currently available in the UK:
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.
Can I choose which vaccine I have?
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.
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.
I have received two vaccine doses outside the UK - will I be exempt from quarantine when arriving in the UK?
If you are arriving after 4am on Monday 4 October
From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status. Find out more about the new rules.
If you are arriving before 4am on Monday 4 October
If you’ve been fully vaccinated in the USA or many European countries, you will not need to quarantine when you arrive in England from an amber list country or take a day 8 test . You still need to book and take a day 2 test. Find out more about the amber list rules for Europe and the USA. This is in addition to the quarantine exemption for people who have been fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme.
If you have received your vaccination outside the UK, USA and Europe, you will have to quarantine on arrival and take both the day 2 and day 8 tests.
I received my vaccinations outside the UK - do I need to self-isolate if I am a close contact?
Yes. Please view our dedicated webpage Self-isolation exemption for close contacts via vaccination declaration.