News & Media

Guidance on Vaccines for Erasmus and Exchange students needed

31 May 2021

Statement by Senator Annie Hoey
Spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
  • Many students will have to travel in August and some colleges and countries have a vaccine requirement.

Labour Further and Higher Education spokesperson Sen. Annie Hoey has raised concerns in the Seanad today about the lack of clear guidance for Erasmus and exchange students on requirements that may be in place for them to have vaccines before they start a semester abroad in the next academic year.

Senator Hoey said:

“There are currently no guidelines for Erasmus and exchange students in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine.

“At the end of the summer many students are due to travel to colleges around the EU, USA, Australia and more in order to begin their study abroad.

“Many of these students have been informed that from September 2021, COVID-19 vaccinations will be a requirement for all students and staff who will be on campus, and that classes are expected to be in-person. Many of these students will have to travel in late August so that they can attend their orientation days ahead of the semester starting.

“These students will need to receive their first and second doses of the vaccines in June or July in order for the vaccine to be effective.

“However the 18-24 year old cohort is not currently due to receive their vaccine until July at the earliest, meaning that this will adversely affect those students looking to go on Erasmus or exchange. This could result in travel delays or students having to quarantine upon arrival, causing them to miss the precious first two weeks of college.

“The Erasmus and Exchange programmes across the world are once in a lifetime experiences for students and many have already put considerable time and money into preparing for their next academic year abroad.

“I am asking for the the Minister for Further and Higher Education, and the Minster for Health to examine this issue and put together a comprehensive plan for how Erasmus and exchange students can get their vaccines in time so that they can go abroad for their studies.

“This is a small cohort of people but it would a big difference if a solution can be found now and implemented in July before it is too later.”