Call for people aged 65 and over to contact NHS for a COVID jab

Until now, the NHS has asked people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure those most vulnerable are protected first but it has been announced that people aged 65 and over, who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, can now contact the NHS to arrange a jab.

Residents aged 65 and over can now book the COVID-19 vaccination appointment without needing an invitation letter here, or by calling 119, free of charge.

Does this mean people can turn up at vaccination services without an appointment? 

No. People will still need to make an appointment in advance before going to any vaccination service. This is important because booking slots are carefully managed to allow for social distancing and the number of appointments is based on the supply available that day. 

Do I need to know my NHS number to use the booking website/phone line? 

No. It’s easier if you do have your NHS number, but if you don’t both the NHS booking website and phone line can still book appointments using other details, provided you are registered with a GP practice. 

You can find your NHS number on the NHS App or at www.nhs.uk/find-nhs-number  

If I’ve already had my first dose will I be able to book my second in this way? 

No. You will only be able to book if our records show you have yet to have your first dose. If you have already had your first dose, please wait for the NHS to contact you about your second. 

What if I don’t live close to one of the large Vaccination Centres? 

The National Booking Service also handles booking for pharmacy-led vaccination services, of which there are around 200 across the country. Only a small number of people don’t live within travelling distance of at least one of these services. 

Alternatively, you can also choose to wait to be contacted by your local GP services. If they haven’t been in contact already, this will be soon.  

Does the NHS have the capacity and supplies available if lots of people now book? 

The vast majority of people in these groups have already either had their first dose or are booked in to be vaccinated shortly.  

The NHS is confident that the supplies and booking slots are available to accommodate the expected number of people who may now come forward. 

Why have I not been contacted by anyone about a vaccination? 

If you are 65 or over or on the Shielded Patient List, then you it is likely that you have been contacted by the NHS already.. If you haven’t, this could be for a number of reasons, but is most likely to be because you are not registered with a GP or have recently moved, and we therefore don’t have your contact details. 

If you have never registered with a GP or haven’t been to a GP for a number of years, we would recommend speaking with your local practice about registering.  

As well as getting access to Covid-19 vaccines, being registered with a GP also means you are invited to important health checks such as for cancer or heart disease, and can access care easier when you need it. 

More information on registering with a GP is available at https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/gps/how-to-register-with-a-gp-surgery/  

Will this approach also apply to the next priority groups when it is their turn to be vaccinated? 

No. For the moment this only applies to people aged 65 and over and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.  

When the time comes to start vaccinating other priority groups, this will be by invitation only so that we can manage the supplies of vaccines available in the fairest possible way.  

How do I get an NHS number? 

You may already have an NHS number but just don’t know it. If you don’t know your NHS number, you can find out if you have one and what it is at: https://digital.nhs.uk/services/nhs-number  

If you don’t have an NHS number this is likely to be because you are not registered with a GP. If this is the case, we would recommend speaking with your local practice about registering.  

As well as getting access to Covid-19 vaccines, being registered with a GP also means you are invited to important health checks such as for cancer or heart disease, and can access care easier when you need it. 

More information on registering with a GP is available at https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/gps/how-to-register-with-a-gp-surgery/ 

What if I book an appointment through the NHS website or 119 and I need to rearrange it? 

If you need to rearrange an appointment that you booked through the NHS website, you can do this through the ‘manage your appointments’ section on the booking page.  

If you booked through 119, you can also ring to rearrange your appointment.  

If you can’t attend your appointment for any reason, please cancel or rearrange it so that the appointment slot can be given to someone else who needs it.  

Can I still book if I previously had an appointment but didn’t attend or cancel it? 

Yes. Only those who have had a vaccination recorded are marked on our system and are therefore unable to book again. 

A letter came to my home but it was for someone else. Can I still use it to book an appointment? 

No. Unless you are aged 65 or over or on the Shielded Patients List you will not be able to book an appointment. 

If you receive a letter for someone who does not live at your address anymore, please return to sender in the usual way so that our records can be updated. 

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