Coronavirus vaccinations can now be booked via the NHS app for the first time.
An app update released in late November installed the ability for users to schedule and manage their Covid shots.
Greater digital integration is a priority for the NHS, which recently added the ability for people to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view detailed medical records in its standalone app.
A Covid-specific app was created with the help of Apple and Google in 2020 to help with contact tracing and let people know when they may have been exposed to an infected person, as well as allow the public to check -in in places.
But this spinoff has largely been abandoned by audiences after Covid restrictions and lockdowns were finally lifted last year. Since the service was added in May 2021, over 140 million Covid Passes have been generated via the NHS app and NHS website.
Previously, Covid vaccines could be booked by phone or online, but not in the app. An eligible person would receive a message and then be able to book a jab on their phone via the internet on the device.
Two-thirds of eligible over 50s received recalls
People over 50 and younger people with certain health conditions are currently able to get the fall Covid booster.
Health officials are keen to vaccinate as many people as possible to prevent society’s most vulnerable being hospitalized over the winter as NHS battles with backlogs, a flu wave, strikes and labor shortages and a current Strep A outbreak
A person is eligible for the omicron-specific bivalent booster made by Pfizer or Moderna only if they have already had the original first two shots.
Two-thirds of eligible over-50s have now received a recall, with the proportion rising to 85% for those over 75. However, vaccination uptake is lower in people aged between 50 and 60 years.
While at least two-thirds of all eligible 60-year-olds received the booster, only half of all eligible 50-60 year-olds received their most recent dose.
Jabs reduce hospital stays by more than 90%.
The Moderna and Pfizer omicron shots have been shown to reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization by 90 and 95 percent, respectively.
Steve Russell, NHS National Vaccination and Screening Director, told The Telegraph: ‘Since the first Covid vaccine was delivered by the NHS two years ago, the Health Service has made it as easy as possible for people to get their life-saving shots, with over 16 million Autumn boosters delivered since September, and now it’s easier than ever to book your appointment using the NHS app.
“Hundreds of sites across the country are making the vaccine as accessible as possible before Christmas, with pop-ups at food banks, community health centers, houses of worship, and touring buses and jab cabs, so if you have yet to get your Covid booster or even your first dose, please book as soon as possible to ensure maximum protection during the holiday period.