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People aged 80 and over are now getting a national NHS letter inviting them to book a COVID vaccination.

Here is a copy of the letter:

Book your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine appointments now

Dear XXX

You are able to book your free NHS coronavirus vaccine now.

We have sent you this letter as experts recommend that people in your age group are among the first to get the vaccine. This is because evidence shows that risk of serious illness because of coronavirus increases with age.

How to book your appointments

To book your vaccination, visit: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination

If you cannot use the NHS website, phone 119 free of charge. You can ask someone else to do this for you if you prefer. At times, the phone line might get very busy and this may mean waiting to speak to someone.

When you book, you will need:

your name and date of birth

your NHS number, which is at the top of this letter

You may also be contacted by your local NHS services. If you have, you can choose to either book your vaccination appointments through your local NHS services or using the details in this letter. You should book as soon as possible. If you've had your first vaccine dose already, the NHS will contact you when it's time for your second dose.

If you are unable to leave the house to travel to where you are offered an appointment and cannot arrange for someone to help you, your local NHS services will be in contact with you.

About the coronavirus vaccine

You need 2 doses of the vaccine to get the best protection from the virus. Your second dose will be given up to 12 weeks after your first.

When you book your first appointment through www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by phoning 119, you will also need to book your second appointment.

For more information, read the leaflet that came with this letter, or visit the NHS website

Some people may not be able to get this vaccine at the moment. If you have had bad allergic reactions in the past, it is important that you read all the guidance. You can also ask about it when you book, or discuss it with a health professional when you attend your appointment.

The place that you choose to have your vaccine will keep you safe from COVID-19 through a range of measures including cleaning and disinfecting and having social distancing in waiting areas. Please also wear a face covering to your appointment

Data Protection

NHS England is responsible for processing your personal data for the purposes of the Covid-19 vaccination programme. To find out more, you can access our privacy notice or search for “NHS England Privacy Notice” in your browser