Last updated: 15 Jul 2021 2:24 pm

Vaccination centres and the national booking service

Standard opening times for vaccination centres will be 8am – 8pm, seven days a week.  To test the system and make sure the space is safe for visitors and staff, most vaccination centres in the first day or days may open slightly later.

Vaccination centres will be using the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Local systems are already on with making sure patients and staff are booked in for Monday.  Over the weekend, those who are eligible will start to receive a letter from the NHS and can call or book an appointment online.

People will start to receive booking letters from the NHS from Saturday 9 January, which will contain the details of how they can book online or by phone. 

Find out more information on who is eligible for the vaccine (opens in a new window)

The NHS local and regionally proposed sites based on a combination of geographical alignment to local health systems to ensure coverage, and the likelihood of the sites being ready in a timely fashion. In some cases, selections were made on population density within the region, and in other cases there was a consideration given to the number of existing vaccination services currently open and expected to open shortly in that area. This delivers a fair and equitable distribution of sites across the country.

All sites are different and some may be able to increase the volume of vaccinations they are able to deliver as they expand depending on supply of the vaccines and spread of vaccinators across the local area.

Letters will initially go to people aged 80 and over who live in reasonable travelling distance of the active locations, and who haven’t already been vaccinated through other NHS vaccination services.  As more centres go live as supplies of the vaccine allow, we intend to open more Vaccination Centres and offer vaccines to the next priority groups.

People who are housebound will be contacted by their GP services about alternative ways to get vaccinated. People can also wait until more locations closer to where they live become available. The NHS will follow up with people that haven’t booked their appointment, as a reminder.

The mix of staff will differ from site to site, but will broadly include vaccinators and clinical supervisors, as well as administrative staff and stewards to ensure the effective and safe operation of the service.

These will largely be new and existing paid NHS staff, but volunteers will also play an important role.

St John Ambulance are providing the following three volunteer roles to Vaccination Centres: Vaccinators, Post Vaccination Observation and Patient Advocate. 

Volunteer Stewards, deployed through the NHS Volunteer Responder programme, will alsp support the patient journey. 

Lancashire and South Cumbria Vaccination Centres have a security check before you are able to enter the site.  This involves a security operative checking any bags you have brought with you. 

To make this process quicker and more efficient please avoid bringing anything that you would not take through security at an airport.  This includes liquids and sharp objects. 

If you are on a lot of medication please do not bring the medicine with you, just a list of the medication you are on.

The telephone booking service will be open 16 hours a day (from 7am until 11pm), seven days a week. People will also be able to book online 24/7.

The NHS is inviting eligible people in a phased basis as supplies of the vaccine allow. It is important that you wait for your letter from the NHS, and you will not be able to book without one.

If you have received a letter and live with someone who is also eligible but has not received a letter, it is likely that theirs will follow shortly. If you like you can wait and book at the same time.

At times, due to high demand, the phone line will get very busy, which may mean waiting on the line for a while or calling back later. People can alternatively book online.

If you need help to do this please ask someone in your support bubble.

Please do try the phone line again as well. We aim to speak to people as quickly as we can.

The phone line will have interpreters and a BSL facility available on request to help you book your appointments.

You will need to provide your name, date of birth, postcode and ideally your NHS number, which will be included on your booking letter. If you have lost your letter or don’t have your NHS number, you may need to provide the name and postcode/postcode of the GP practice you are registered with – in this circumstance you should use the phone booking service.

If you or your relatives are attending appointments for your Covid-19 vaccine, it is really important that you arrive at the time of your appointment and not early, where possible.

This will help to support safe social distancing and reduce the likelihood of yourself and others having to queue.

While the NHS will write to people based on their GP records, this doesn’t mean that people that don’t have an NHS number or aren’t registered with a GP won’t be able to get vaccinated through the programme.

It does however help to be registered with a GP to help the NHS check for any reasons that someone might not be able to have a vaccine, and ensure there is a record that both doses of the vaccine have been had. Details of how to register with a GP are available here (opens in a new window).

People will be asked to provide details of their identity at the time of booking, when they arrive for their appointment and before they are vaccinated.

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