Calling all over 56s, carers and people with a learning disability: Book your Covid vaccine

PLUS Your common questions answered about the process, including registering at a GP, finding your NHS number, to rearranging appointments.

Calling all over 56s, carers and people with a learning disability: Book your Covid vaccine

People aged 56 and over plus those who claim Carer’s Allowance can now book their Covid vaccinations direct with the NHS via the national booking service

As the vaccination roll out makes excellent progress with more than 20 million now vaccinated, new groups have been added to previous priority groups (over 60s, over 65s, over 70s and over 80s and those living or working in care homes)

You can only use this service if any of the following apply:

  • you are aged 56 or over
  • you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker
  • you have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • you have a learning disability
  • you are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus

You also need to be registered with a GP surgery in England to use this service. You can register with a GP if you do not have one.

Find out more about who is eligible to have a coronavirus vaccination.

The easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service which can be accessed here

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

You will be able to choose a venue most convenient to you – a vaccination centre or other healthcare setting like a pharmacy – and you can book dates for your first and second jabs.

Oxford Health is the lead provider for large vaccination centres at:

  • Kassam Stadium, Oxford
  • Buckinghamshire New University campus in Aylesbury
  • Madejski Stadium, Reading

Anyone who doesn’t want to or can’t make it to one of these centres can still choose to wait to be contacted by their local GP-led service, which are currently prioritising those with underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk.

Please note that vaccinations are only for people in Cohorts 1-6 on the JCVI priority list which is set by the government.

Frontline social care or health care workers must have direct contact with patients, clients or service users at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to receive a vaccination.

The following workers are not eligible:

  • Administrative staff who do not have any direct contact with clients.
  • Social care workers working with children who are not considered priority within the context of the JCVI priority cohorts 1-9 (children under 16 who do not have underlying health conditions leading to greater risk of disease or mortality and children who have no underlying health conditions).

Oxford Health is the lead provider for large vaccination sites across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire West (Reading). We work alongside other NHS colleagues including GPs and pharmacies in ensuring all prioritised groups are able to be vaccinated.

Question & Answers

Does this mean people can turn up at vaccination services without an appointment?

No. People will still need to make an appointment in advance before going to any vaccination service. This is important because booking slots are carefully managed to allow for social distancing and the number of appointments is based on the supply available that day.

Do I need to know my NHS number to use the booking website/phone line?

No. It’s easier if you do have your NHS number, but if you don’t both the NHS booking website and phone line can still book appointments using other details, provided you are registered with a GP practice.

You can find your NHS number on the NHS App or at

If I’ve already had my first dose will I be able to book my second in this way?

No. You will only be able to book if our records show you have yet to have your first dose. If you have already had your first dose, please wait for the NHS to contact you about your second.

What if I don’t live close to one of the large Vaccination Centres?

The National Booking Service also handles booking for pharmacy-led vaccination services, of which there are around 200 across the country. Only a small number of people don’t live within travelling distance of at least one of these services.

Alternatively, you can also choose to wait to be contacted by your local GP services. If they haven’t been in contact already, this will be soon.

Does the NHS have the capacity and supplies available if lots of people now book?

The vast majority of people in these groups have already either had their first dose or are booked in to be vaccinated shortly.

The NHS is confident that the supplies and booking slots are available to accommodate the expected number of people who may now come forward.

Why have I not been contacted by anyone about a vaccination?

If you are 70 or over or on the Shielded Patient List, then it is likely that you have been contacted by the NHS already. Letters to over 65s started being sent out nationally on Feb 15. Letters to half a million 64 year olds are being sent now.

If you haven’t been contacted yet, this could be for a number of reasons, but is most likely to be because you are not registered with a GP or have recently moved, and we therefore don’t have your contact details.

If you have never registered with a GP or haven’t been to a GP for a number of years, we would recommend speaking with your local practice about registering.

As well as getting access to Covid-19 vaccines, being registered with a GP also means you are invited to important health checks such as for cancer or heart disease, and can access care easier when you need it.

More information on registering with a GP is available at

What if I book an appointment through the NHS website or 119 and I need to rearrange it?

If you need to rearrange an appointment that you booked through the NHS website, you can do this through the ‘manage your appointments’ section on the booking page.

If you booked through 119, you can also ring to rearrange your appointment.

If you can’t attend your appointment for any reason, please cancel or rearrange it so that the appointment slot can be given to someone else who needs it.

Can I still book if I previously had an appointment but didn’t attend or cancel it?

Yes. Only those who have had a vaccination recorded are marked on our system and are therefore unable to book again.

A letter came to my home but it was for someone else. Can I still use it to book an appointment?

No. Unless you are aged 64 or over or on the Shielded Patients List you will not be able to book an appointment.

If you receive a letter for someone who does not live at your address anymore, please return to sender in the usual way so that our records can be updated.

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Published: 8 March 2021