The NHS will begin texting nearly half a million people today, inviting them to book their life saving Covid-19 (coronavirus) jab, making it quicker and more convenient to get an appointment.
The texts will be sent using the Government’s secure Notify service will show up as being sent from ‘NHSvaccine’.
To reassure those wary of scammers, 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.”
Text messages sent to over 55s and unpaid carers
Almost 400,000 people aged 55 and over and 40,000 unpaid carers will be the first to get the text alert inviting them to book a slot as part of the latest development in the NHS vaccination programme.
The messages will include a web link for those eligible to click and reserve an appointment at one of more than 300 large-scale vaccination centres or pharmacies across England.
However, if people cannot or would prefer not to travel to a Vaccination Centre or pharmacy-led site, they can choose to wait to be invited by a local GP-led service.
People will continue to receive letters inviting them to book an appointment as well as a text alert, to ensure that people who don’t have a number registered or need information in different languages or formats don’t miss out.