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Vaccinations you need before starting University

Stay healthy at University by getting the vaccinations recommended by the UK Government’s Department of Health. Find out which ones you should have.

Getting your vaccinations

Before you come to University, you should have been vaccinated against certain diseases. We strongly advise that you consider having these vaccinations before coming to Bath.

The UK national immunisation programme has meant that dangerous diseases, such as polio, have disappeared in the UK. But these diseases could come back – they are still around in many countries throughout the world. That’s why it’s so important for you to protect yourself.

Please make sure you are up to date with all routine immunisations as recommended by the Department of Health

If you haven't had all the vaccinations, you can get them at our medical centre. All you need to do is register with the centre when you get here and you can arrange to get them done.

There are three highly recommended vaccines that all new students should get before starting University:

  • Meningococcal ACWY
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
  • HPV (recommended for female students)

Meningococcal ACWY immunisation

Meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) are rare but life-threatening diseases. A single dose of the MenACWY vaccine will protect you and others from these potentially fatal illnesses.

Students starting university for the first time are at an increased risk of Meningitis because they are more likely to stay in halls of residence and have more close contact with new students who may unknowingly be carrying the meningitis bacteria. It is likely you have had a single dose of MenACWY vaccine whilst at school, if so then you do not require any further doses but if not then please speak to your GP practice before you start here at Bath.

MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)

There have been small outbreaks of mumps and measles within Universities over the past few years in the UK amongst students who have not been vaccinated.

Measles is a very infectious viral illness that is spread by coughs and sneezes. Mumps is a viral illness that is spread by coughs and sneezes or close contact with someone who already has the infection, both illnesses can also have potentially fatal complications. Rubella is a viral illness, now rare in the UK, and is spread in a similar way to mumps and measles. For most people, it is usually a mild condition, however, if pregnant women develop rubella it can be very serious for their unborn baby.

The MMR vaccine is safe and effective and protects against all three separate illnesses in a single injection. To ensure you are fully protected you require two doses of the vaccine; it is likely that you would have received the two doses as an infant but it is advisable to check with your GP before arriving at University.

If you have not had two doses of MMR you should make sure you receive them as soon as possible.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

A vaccine that protects against cervical and other cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) together with genital warts.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the name of a very common group of viruses. They do not cause any problems in most people, but some types can cause genital warts or cancer.

The HPV vaccine helps protect against genital warts and is effective at stopping people getting the high-risk types of HPV that cause cancer, including most cervical cancers and some anal, genital, mouth and throat (head and neck) cancers. To ensure you are fully protected you require two doses (In England this moves to one dose from September 2023). You may have been offered this vaccine in Year 8 at school if you studied in England.

The UK Government has recommended that female students make sure they are up-to-date before attending university. If you have missed any doses or have not had the vaccine, contact your GP surgery.

International Students

If you are from outside the UK, you will need to be up to date with all immunisations as recommended by the UK Government's Department of Health.

You should be vaccinated for tuberculosis (TB) before you enter the UK. If you are applying for a Student visa, you might also need to be tested for tuberculosis. Find out more about tuberculosis tests for visa applicants.

Talk to your doctor about any other vaccinations you might need to come to the UK. You should also check with your local embassy to find out if you are legally required to get any vaccines before coming to the UK.

We recommend you get your vaccinations before you leave home. If you get your vaccinations in the UK, you may have to pay for some of them.

If you have any evidence of your vaccinations, like an International Vaccination Book, bring it with you to university.