MILLIONS of Brits have now received a vaccine that protects against Covid-19.
The rollout to immunise the country is in full swing and it’s important to know how to book a jab when your turn rolls around.
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So far over 32 million Brits have received a first dose of a vaccine with over 7.6 having had their second.
It was today announced that Brits over the age of 45 can book a jab through the vaccine portal.
Slots were available for as early as tomorrow through the online system.
The rush caused the website has already crashed for many eager to get their shot of either the Pfizer, Oxford/AstraZeneca or Moderna jab.
The Moderna vaccine – the third approved in the UK – started being given in England today.
It marks the next phase of the UK’s vaccination programme to give the first dose to healthy adults aged under 50.
The NHS booking website is now allowing anyone in this group to pick an appointment.
In February, Boris Johnson announced that all adults in the UK would receive the vaccine by July 31.
It was also revealed that the Government has met its target of offering the vaccine to all adults in the top nine priority groups ahead of time.
HOW TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
The NHS is working through a list determined by the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), which means those who need the jab most will be getting it first.
Most people in the priority list have now had their first jab.
Letters sent to those who qualify to have the vaccine give details on how to book your jab in each area.
The letters explain how the slots can be booked through the national booking service online or over the phone.
The NHS said that the centres are an additional option for people, who can book an appointment at one of the seven centres through the national booking service online or over the phone.
If they can’t make an appointment this way then they can be jabbed at one of their local vaccine centres.
In order to be eligible for the vaccine, the NHS says that you have to be registered with a GP surgery in England.
To start the booking process you can follow the link sent to you on your letter.
You can only use the service if you have had a letter sent to you and the NHS states that you might not get your letter straight away.
Before you start to fill out the form you will be asked for your NHS number.
This number will be displayed on any previous letters the NHS has sent you – such as your shielding letter and it will consist of 10 numbers.
It does however state that if you don’t know your NHS number then you will still be able to book an appointment.
If this is the case you will be asked for your first and second name, your gender and your date of birth as well as your postcode.
This is so the NHS can access your records and book you in at a centre close to you.
This also checks your eligibility for the vaccine and the system will prompt you if it’s not yet your turn.
AT THE APPOINTMENT
When you arrive at the vaccine centre you will be greeted by a volunteer who will help you.
The NHS states that your appointment should take 30 to 40 minutes and that this will include a check to make sure all of your booking reference numbers match up.
You will then have to answer questions about your medical history before having a jab.
After having the jab you will be asked to wait for around 15 minutes, this is in the unlikely event that you have an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
In the unlikely event that this happens, trained professionals will be on hand to assist.
CAN I GET A PRIVATE JAB?
Unlike various Covid tests that are available for a cost at pharmacies and other health companies across the UK – this isn’t the same for jabs.
The government states: “The Covid-19 vaccination is only available through the NHS to eligible groups and it is a free vaccination.”
Private vaccination is not expected to become available and companies such as Pfizer have previously said that they have no plans to supply the private sector with jabs for the foreseeable future.
Patients have also been warned not to fall for scam artists who claim to have doses of the vaccine available.
It was previously reported that fraudsters are taking advantage of the NHS Covid-19 vaccine rollout by sending convincing text messages to scam financial information.
Elderly and anxious residents have received text messages claiming to be from the NHS, which say they are eligible to receive the vaccine.
Included in the message is a hyperlink to a fake – although very convincing – application form.
Those who click through to the form are then asked to fill the blanks with their personal information – including a credit card number.
Other text messages steal money from people by getting them to reply with a text message that costs a fortune.
Clued-up recipients have taken to social media to share screenshots of the messages, urging others to keep their wits about them as the scam appears to spread further.
It was also reported in January that an elderly woman had been charge £150 for a fake vaccine.
Vaccine are only available through the NHS.