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NHS launches vaccine appointment invite text

The headlines over the recent months have shared stories of fraudsters trying to steal bank details with fake texts offering a Covid vaccine.

Today (Tuesday 9 March), the NHS has launched its new way to invite people to book their Covid jab. Previously, invites were sent out through the post.

As a result of scams relating to the COVID 19 vaccines, it's critical that you are able to understand which text messages are genuine and which ones aren't.

The first tell tale sign is that Covid vaccinations are free, so if the text asks you to ring premium rate numbers or enter your banking details, it is a scam and you should not respond to this text. The genuine NHS text 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.

The text message will be sent using the Government’s secure Notify service and will show as being sent from ‘NHSvaccine’.

Reminders will be sent 2-3 weeks after the original alert to encourage people to get their vaccine if they have not taken up the offer. Letters will also be sent out in the post but texts will arrive first.

Remember, the NHS will never:

  • ask for payment or banking details

  • ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as passports, driving licence, bills or pay slips.

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 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.”


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