Coronavirus Vaccines Rollout and Beware Scams!

The coronavirus vaccine continues to be rolled out in Birmingham. Millennium Point has become the first Covid-19 mass vaccination centre to operate in the Midlands, on a strictly appointment-only basis. The NHS will be contacting people directly to book their appointments; individuals will be contacted by their GP, or other known health care provider, to be invited for the vaccine in due course. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine and it’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before you are invited.

If you are invited by the NHS to attend a vaccination site which is too far for you to get to safely, you may wait until your GP or other healthcare provider invites you for a more local appointment.

Government guidelines on the priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccine can be read here.

General information on the vaccine can be read here. Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched a local COVID-19 vaccination resource website: it has everything you need to know about the coronavirus vaccines, including their effectiveness, your eligibility and how they are administered. There is even a video showing the process from start to finish.

Birmingham City Council emphasises that vaccines reduce the spread of infectious diseases and even get rid of some altogether. Since they were introduced, serious conditions like polio and tetanus have become very rare in the UK. It’s also still important for those eligible to be vaccinated against flu this season. Over 50s can now get the flu vaccine for free – a vital way to protect against illness over winter. Speak to your pharmacist or GP.

ALERT! BE AWARE OF VACCINE SCAMS:

Some scammers are, sadly, attempting to trick people into paying for vaccines, which they cannot provide. The NHS will not ask us to pay for a Coronavirus vaccine.

Action Fraud has received reports from members of the public who have been sent text messages claiming to be from the NHS, offering them the opportunity to sign up for coronavirus vaccinations. The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details. In some cases the online form has looked very similar to the real NHS website.

In the UK, coronavirus vaccinations will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You will be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a local GP surgery or pharmacy, to receive your vaccination. Remember, the vaccinations are free of charge and you will not be asked for a payment.

The NHS will NEVER:

  • ask for your bank account or card details
  • ask for your PIN or banking passwords
  • arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • ask for documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or utility bills

See also our article on Test Track & Trace scams here.

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. Do not respond to suspicious text messages or emails, or click on any links. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726, which is free of charge.

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.