Essex University is to provide extra support to its returning students next month by offering vaccination clinics on its various campuses.

Students will be returning to campus after prolonged periods of distance learning since the Covid outbreak last March, but scientists are worried that the return of large-scale events for freshers and returning students could act as “superspreader events” for the virus.

A spokesman from Essex University said that NHS vaccination clinics will be run on campus during Freshers’ Week to offer both new and returning students their first of second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

He said: “We’re supporting our students to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves, fellow students and the wider campus community.

“We will be running NHS vaccination clinics on Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses in the autumn term during Freshers Week and Welcome Week to offer our students their first or second vaccination.”

The autumn term for Essex University students begins on Thursday October 7, but the university will be hosting an array of events in the run-up to the start of term, such as New Student Night, Fresh-tival, and Arrivals Party.

A spokesman from the university added that they will work together with the NHS to ensure that Covid infections can be kept at a low level.

He said: “We are running information sessions for students with our NHS partners.

“We are also encouraging our community to be regularly tested at our on-campus clinics.”

The university has also stated on its website that face coverings must be worn in all indoor premises where it is difficult to practice social distancing.