NHS text message drive to encourage uptake in areas where the Delta variant is circulating

Nearly 300,000 texts have been sent out to drive people living in areas where the Delta variant is circulating to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

The vaccine is highly effective against coronavirus, having prevented  22 million infections, 52,600 hospitalisations and 60,000 deaths up to 23 July.

Vaughan Lewis, Medical Director for the NHS in the South East, said: “NHS staff have pulled out all the stops to get the lifesaving Covid jab to people as soon as possible and their exceptional hard work rolling out the biggest and fastest vaccination programme in history has meant that three quarters of all adults in England are now fully vaccinated.

“Getting the vaccine is the single most important step you can take to protect yourself and others, with convenient vaccination sites across the region including pop up clinics at festivals and football stadiums and walk-in clinics at the heart of local communities it’s never been easier.”

If you have not already had a first vaccination, appointments are available to book at local sites for those turning 18 within the next three months and over. Alternatively, walk-in coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination sites are open across the region.

All 16-and-17-year olds are also now being offered one jab dose of the vaccine, under the new guidance issued by the JCVI earlier this week. Initially, they should wait to be contacted by their GP to arrange an appointment although 11 walk in sites in the region are offering the vaccination to this group, and more will soon be readily available.

Around 12 million vaccinations have been delivered in the South East since the NHS in England gave the first jab outside of a clinical trial in December 2020.

The text messages encouraging uptake in areas where the Delta variant is circulating should come from ‘NHSvaccine’. The NHS will never ask for your bank details or payment for the COVID-19 vaccine, so please be aware of suspicious text messages.

Notes to editors:

Text messages have been sent to people living in:

  1. Areas of Canterbury
  2. In and around areas of Hastings.
  3. Parts of Slough and neighbouring areas
  4. Areas of Oxford
  5. Areas of Crawley
  6. In and around areas of Brighton.
  7. In and around areas of Southampton and Portsmouth
  8. In and around areas of Epsom.