All frontline health and social care workers in England can now book their COVID-19 vaccine online. The system has been introduced to help reach those who are yet to receive their first dose of the vaccine.
The NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service allows all eligible health and social care workers to self-refer for a vaccine appointment, regardless of whether they work in the NHS or not.
This means all eligible nursing staff, including agency and temporary staff and those who work in the independent sector, will be able to book a vaccine appointment themselves. On 1 March, the deadline for booking was extended "until further notice".
Appointments can be booked online via the NHS website or over the phone by calling 119 free of charge, 7am to 11pm, 7 days a week. As part of the booking process, staff need to self-declare they are a health or social care worker and will be required to bring proof of employment to the appointment.
The new push from government comes after the RCN raised concerns that key staff were slipping through the net of the vaccine programme. Our recent member survey showed that 70% of respondents who hadn’t had, or been offered, the vaccine worked in non-NHS settings. More than two in five agency nursing staff and one in four temporary staff had not received a vaccine.
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “The government has acted upon our demands to intervene and put a system in place to ensure all nursing staff, irrespective of where they work, can easily access the vaccine.
“I’d encourage all eligible staff to make use of this self-referral system and book in to get the vaccination without delay to protect themselves, their patients and their family.”
Our COVID-19 vaccination FAQs provide information compiled by RCN advisers in public health, infection control and employment relations. They’re continually updated as things develop.
This article was originally published on 12 February and updated on 2 March with details of the self-referral deadline extension.