Thousands of people in Harborough aged over 55 are set to get their Covid-19 vaccination

The NHS is now texting patients inviting them to book their jab, making it quicker and more convenient to get an appointment

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 12:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 12:16 pm

Thousands of people in Harborough aged over 55 are set to get their Covid-19 vaccination.

The NHS is now texting patients inviting them to book their jab, making it quicker and more convenient to get an appointment.

Almost 400,000 people aged over 55 and 40,000 unpaid carers all over the country will be the first to get a text alert urging them to get their first shot.

Thousands of people in Harborough aged over 55 are set to get their Covid-19 vaccination.

The messages will include a web link for those eligible to click and reserve an appointment at one of more than 300 major vaccination centres or pharmacies across England.

Reminders will be sent two-three weeks after the first alert to encourage you to get your vaccine if you have not taken up the offer.

You will get a text ahead of the standard letter.

As a result “if the trial is successful the solution could enable the NHS to react faster to changing vaccine supplies and fill appointments quickly,” said the NHS.

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said: “Thanks to careful planning and the huge efforts of NHS staff we have vaccinated more than 18 million people in England, which is a remarkable achievement.

“The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, continues to go from strength to strength.

“We are now building on that momentum by trialling a quick and easy service that will hopefully make it more convenient for people to book their life-saving jab.”

He added: “I had my vaccine this week – it was simple, quick and painless.

“And I would encourage others who have not yet taken up the offer to come forward and receive the jab.”

Some GP-led and hospital vaccination services, which operate their own booking systems, are already using texts for invites.

Introducing them to the national booking service for vaccine centres and pharmacy-led services will help increase uptake of the life-saving jab, particularly as the NHS moves on to younger groups.

Over 1.7 million people aged 56 and over have already been asked to book their vaccine, as the biggest programme in health service history continues to gather pace.

NHS chiefs are also warning people to watch out for texts from scammers attempting to exploit the coronavirus pandemic.

“In some cases text messages have been used by scammers to try to collect personal details from people, get them to ring premium rate numbers or enter their banking details,” said the NHS.

“The NHS will never ask for payment or banking details.”

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS medical director for primary care, said: “We know that some people are rightly worried about scams going around.

“But if the message comes from ‘NHSvaccine’ and links to the NHS.UK website you can be sure that it’s the right invite.

“For any messages you might get about the vaccine, always remember that the NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details, your PIN or banking password.

“The NHS will also never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine - or ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.”