The NHS COVID-19 Vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, today launched a new online service that lets people find their nearest walk-in centre by simply entering their postcode.
The NHS has opened hundreds of sites where anyone aged 18 or over can turn up to get vaccinated without an appointment over the weekend and is urging anyone who has not received one to ‘grab a jab’.
Sports grounds, including the home of Newcastle Eagles Basketball, Watford’s Vicarage Road, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and Edgbaston cricket ground will join roving vaccination buses in Dudley, Colchester, Ipswich and others, backed up by teams of community outreach vaccinators, to reach as many people as possible.
Vaccine buses will also be out on the road, and visits to housebound people are planned, as the NHS gears up for a mammoth weekend of activity to protect the nation.
Text messages will also be sent to people living nearby who have not had their first dose. Three million texts have been sent to let people know about local walk-in services – more than twice as many as the NHS has sent before in one day.
Second jabs are also available at many of the walk-in centres, if it has been at least eight weeks since the first dose.
Demand for jabs is continuing, with more than one million bookings made between Monday and Wednesday this week, as demand for the vaccine continues following the expansion to all adults last Friday.
So this weekend, simply enter your postcode and head down to your nearest walk-in centre to ‘grab a jab’.
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, said: “With more than 63 million jabs already delivered by the NHS in England, we’re now in a race to the finish line, and with this new online service, it is easier than ever to find a convenient place to get your vaccine.
“With every jab given, we are one step closer to our summer freedoms”.
The move follows the watershed moment last Friday when every adult in the country became eligible for the jab and a little more than a week since the system opened to everyone, over a third of people aged 18-24 already have been vaccinated.
People who attend a walk-in clinic for their first dose will have their vaccination record updated online and will then be able to book in their second dose appointment using the national booking system.
The NHS is vaccinating at the rate supplies becomes available in the run up to the 19 July target, as well as having offered second doses to all higher risk groups.
NHS England’s lead for the NHS Vaccination programme, Dr Emily Lawson, said: “We know that the COVID-19 vaccine is lifesaving and gives us crucial protection against the virus, and so if you haven’t yet received your jab, this is the weekend to get it done.
“Pop along to one of the many walk-in centres opening over the next few days and join the tens of millions who have their vaccine, and bring forward your second jab when contacted to do so by the NHS, to ensure you have the maximum protection possible”.
Latest figures show the NHS has delivered over 62 million vaccinations in England just six months after making history when Margaret Keenan received the first approved vaccine in Coventry.
Four in five adults have now received their first dose of the jab, with three in five already fully vaccinated after receiving two doses.
All adults can book at one of the 2,000 vaccination centre, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service. Vaccination centres are also available in convenient locations such as mosques, museums and football stadiums.
Details of the locations of the sites will be made available for communities across the country, so people can find the most convenient venue for them.
Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and include a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.
People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.
People aged 39 and under who are eligible and pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with updated Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation guidance.