COVID Vaccinations

UK Mobile phone owners to receive Vaccine Booster Text

Every mobile phone owner in the UK will be sent a text message on Boxing Da

Following a request from ministers to UK mobile networks, every mobile phone owner in the UK will be sent a text message on Boxing Day urging them to get a booster jab if they have not already done so,

The appeal to those aged 18 and over is the latest attempt by the Government to encourage take-up of third vaccinations as the omicron coronavirus variant rips through the country.

All of the mobile network operators will send out the text messages, including BT owner EE, Vodafone, Virgin Media O2 and Three. 

It has the potential to reach an estimated 60m people across all four nations of the UK.

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The move comes after Boris Johnson issued a Christmas message urging Britons to get their boosters, saying it was a “wonderful thing” they could do for their families and others.

Ministers previously used nationwide text alerts to urge people to follow lockdown rules.

However, Mr Johnson has expressed the hope that if enough people get a booster jab it would remove the need for any further lockdown measures this winter.

Reportedly, about 82pc of people aged 12 and over in the UK, or 47.2m, have had two doses of a Covid vaccine bBut only 56pc, or 32.3m, have received a third so far, according to the latest figures.

It means more than 20m people are still eligible to receive their booster – providing their last dose was given at least three months beforehand.

Appointments can be booked through the NHS’s website, while many vaccination centres offer walk-in slots as well.

In Scotland, the devolved administration aims to offer appointments to all adults before the year’s end and these can be booked online.

The Welsh administration is aiming for the same target but it is contacting people directly, with older and more vulnerable people getting priority. 

In Northern Ireland all adults are eligible, with people able to book online or go to walk-in centres.