The NHS is setting out how it will increase national uptake of lifesaving vaccinations, ensuring millions more people receive protection against a range of diseases.
The ambitious NHS’ vaccination strategy will outline how getting vaccinations will be made easier than ever before, including through expansion of the NHS App, ‘one stop shops’ and community outreach.
Millions more people will be able to view their full vaccination record and book in for vaccines on the NHS App over the coming months and years.
Expansion of the app will include improved access to medical records and putting a personal history of potentially life-saving vaccines such as HPV and MMR in the palm of people’s hands.
Improved booking features will include new in-App bookings, invitation alerts and appointment notifications, which NHS leaders say will make “booking a jab as easy as booking a cab”.
Parents of children and young people will increasingly be able to see the vaccination status of their children on the App and there will be new information and advice on how to book appointments.
Health and care professionals will focus efforts on going into the heart of communities to protect unvaccinated people who are less well-served by traditional health services – taking vaccines close to people’s homes and offering in-person support to improve vaccine confidence, as well as offering the chance to get a jab.
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of the NHS in England said: “Just over three years ago Maggie Keenan was the first person in the world to receive an approved covid-19 jab and since that momentous day, the NHS covid-19 vaccination programme has delivered over 156 million covid jabs and saved tens of thousands of lives – our vision for the future of vaccinations published today sets out how we plan to build on this huge success and save even more lives.
“Through the NHS app, we’ll make sure booking a jab can be as easy as booking a cab so millions more people can get vaccinated – users will be able to access their full vaccine status in a matter of seconds and book jabs with a simple swipe and tap.
“And we’ll continue to expand the amazing work of NHS staff, volunteers and partners to introduce even more pop-up sites in the heart of our local communities. So, when you are invited for any of your vaccinations, please do book without delay – it could be lifesaving.”
Over 33 million people are already signed up to the NHS App. Currently, most NHS app users can view their COVID and flu vaccination status via the NHS App, but the NHS will be increasing the visibility of routine vaccine-preventable diseases, making it easier for people to identify any missed vaccinations in their history.
Booking and receiving more than one vaccine in a single visit will also become easier, building on a big year-on-year increase in the number of winter flu and COVID-19 vaccines offered at the same time. This has been supported by a joint online and telephone booking service and by combined invitations, both for the first time, as part of the current winter vaccines campaign.
Owen Richards, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Southend, said: “People who use the NHS App will welcome updates to make it easier to book essential vaccinations and access vaccine records.
“And many more should be supported to use the app so they can have the choice of managing aspects of their health digitally if they wish”.
Let us know about your experiences of using the NHS App or having a vaccination!