Vaccine Programme Update 15-3-21

Table of Contents

Text messages from the national booking system: 

From this week the national programme will be sending text message invitations to those eligible and for whom their GP has a mobile phone number listed.  This is in addition to a letter, which may follow a day or so later, but it is hoped that by using text messages, many people will be able to book more quickly and easily.  The information also tells you how these text messages can be identified as genuine.

The text message will be sent using the Government’s secure Notify service. They will appear as being sent from NHSvaccine; this name has been protected so it can’t be used by any other text messaging service. The initial invite message will read:

Age eligibility:  Those aged 55 and over are now eligible to book via the national booking system.  If they prefer they can wait for an invitation from their local GP-led services, but this may not arrive for a while yet.

NHS – You are now eligible for your free NHS coronavirus vaccination. Please book online at or by calling 119. You will need to provide your name, date of birth and postcode. Your phone number has been obtained from your GP records.

In common with the letter invites, the text messages will invite people to book online at or by calling 119, for an appointment at a local Vaccination Centre or pharmacy-led site.

People who are clinically vulnerable:  Note that these group 6 people are still not able to book via the national programme and must wait for an invitation from their GP-led service. This is frustrating, but if this changes we will let you know.

Informal carers:  

a) Informal carers in receipt of carers allowance may book via the national programme (either by calling 119 or via the website), as their details are already known to local authorities and the NHS.   

b) Those who are registered with their GP as a carer may receive an invitation from their GP-led service.  Additionally, if their GP practice has provided their details to the local authority, they may also be able to book online via the national programme. 

c) Informal carers who are not registered with their GP and do not receive carer’s allowance should be encouraged to register with their local carers organisation, details below.  The hope is that a way will soon be approved for these organisations to share those details with the local authority, and they in turn will provide those details to NHS England, enabling those informal carers to be invited for their vaccination.  We will let you know as soon as this happens, but do encourage carers to register with their carers organisation now:  

Increase in Vaccine Supplies and A Note About Second Jabs.

With expected vaccine supply increases from Monday, we’re planning for further acceleration as we head towards Easter, and also welcoming more people back for their second dose. The first dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offer good levels of protection, but to get maximum protection from COVID-19, everyone will need to get a second dose, so we are urging people to come back for it when they are contacted or if they have an appointment booked already.

And a reminder: there is a very comprehensive FAQ provided by NHS Sussex –

Or contact me, Andy Miller:

01892 852 389  07817 130 653

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