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Text Messaging from the NHS – FAQs

Text Messaging from the NHS

The NHS nationally is sending text messages to some people to invite them to book a vaccine appointment.

You can trust your text message is genuine if it comes from ‘NHSvaccine’, includes a link to the NHS.uk website and gives you the option of phoning 119.

Q: Why is the NHS doing this?

Text messages are already being used by local vaccination services. The NHS National Booking Service is trialling this approach to see whether it helps to reach eligible individuals and encourage them to book their appointment faster than the letters used so far, and whether receiving an invite in this way is preferable for those in younger age groups.

Q: How does the national NHS know my mobile number?

The NHS has been using contact details – including addresses and now mobile phone numbers – given to us by patients and recorded in their GP patient record.

Q: I share a mobile phone with others in my household – how do we know which of us is invited?

If you share a mobile phone with other adults then you can try to book online. If you are not eligible yet then the booking system will not let you book until you are.

You could also wait for your invite letter to arrive to be sure.

Q: I’ve received a text message invite from my GP or local hospital, is this the same?

No. This service is in addition to the texts sent out by some local services.

If you have received a text message or any other kind of invite from another vaccination service and have booked an appointment, then please ignore the text messages.

Q: I booked after receiving a text message but no letter came – does this mean I have fallen for a scam?

Not necessarily. If your text message came from ‘NHSvaccine’, included a link to the NHS.uk/covid-vaccination website and gave you the option of phoning 119, then it was genuine.

There are other reasons why you may not have received a letter, such as:

  • If you have moved recently and forgotten to update your GP practice records or register with a new one;
  • If your address is recorded incorrectly with your GP, or;
  • If the text message was from a local vaccination service.

If in doubt you can check with the organisation you think you have booked in with.