THE universities minister said Covid vaccine pop-up centres made “absolute sense” – but Bournemouth’s higher education institutions still have no plans to introduce them.

Minister of state for universities Michelle Donelan told the Daily Echo that more pop-up vaccination centres will be opening on campuses across the country in the coming weeks.

However, universities in Bournemouth have maintained that they will not be opening centres in the near future, despite the recent closure of the mass vaccination hub at the Bournemouth International Centre.

In an interview with the Daily Echo, Conservative MP Ms Donelan said: “I know public health have been working very closely with universities and we’ve been in touch as well to make sure that getting the vaccine is as easy as possible.

“In some areas it makes absolute sense to definitely get a pop up centre due to the location of the vaccine centre in that town or locality and where there are needs to make it more accessible we will continue to do that and over the coming weeks we will see more pop up centres opening.”

A Bournemouth University spokesperson said: “We are actively working with Public Health Dorset to ensure that our students are given the latest information about where they can get vaccinated, and we are actively encouraging vaccination in our messages to students.”

Arts University Bournemouth said the situation had not changed from when it was approached by the Daily Echo last month.

Offering guidance to students with concerns about the virus, Ms Donelan said: “Whilst we’ve removed all the restrictions, universities still have to do risk assessments and they’re still working closely with their Public Health England local team to have those risk assessments signed off.

“They have mitigation plans in place should they need them and all of that should be transparent.

“If a student has concerns they should speak to their lecturers or faculty members and they can get more information about those plans including the use of ventilation.

“We would also encourage everybody to go and get the vaccine, that is our key weapon against this virus.

“We know from the latest NUS survey that the number of students who have received their first vaccine is 83 per cent, which is higher the average for their age and population, so I would encourage people to continue to do that and get their second one as well.”