Better times are coming, but beware vaccine scams and false information

(21 January, 2021)

If in doubt about a letter or phone call you receive, phone your GP to check

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As cases drop in Southwark and across London, but the number of admissions to hospital remains high and COVID-19 deaths continue to rise, it is more important than ever that people have faith in the vaccination programme – and understand how and when they will be ‘called up’.

Officials are already very concerned that a significant minority of people may be worried about taking the vaccine, due to the record speed with which it has been developed (a product of extra funding, scientists, and resources, not safety shortcuts) or because they lack trust in healthcare.

Surveys show particular groups, including some ethnic minorities, are more likely to be hesitant. Another worry is the patchy postal service, and vulnerable people being taken in by cruel scammers.

London is already behind on vaccinations compared with other regions, despite being particularly hard hit by this new variant. It is so important that we all act responsibly – both with the information we share, and by continuing to social distance after the first dose while immunity is building up, but by also checking on our older family and friends to ensure that they are getting post and can contact their GPs, and they understand when and where their appointment is.

Scams going around include people knocking on doors, sending emails, and making fraudulent phone calls asking for money in exchange for a vaccine.

You will never have to pay to be vaccinated – this is free on the NHS and is currently being arranged via GP surgeries, hospitals and pharmacies, to care home residents, the over 80s and now the over 70s, as well as some extremely clinically vulnerable younger people and health and social care workers.

If in doubt about a letter or phone call you receive, phone your GP to check. And if you do come across a scam make sure you report it to the police.

Vaccinations are truly one of the miracles of modern medicine and have saved countless lives all around the world since first being discovered.

Everyone getting their COVID-19 jabs is now making history. Better times are coming.

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