Health bosses say scammers have deterred people from taking the Covid-19 vaccine.

GPs have been sending out text messages urging those in called-up groups to book an appointment for the jab.

But the prevalence of con artists employing similar methods to part people with their cash has made recipients wary of following instructions from official sources.

Dr Sarah Raistrick, chairman and GP at NHS Warwickshire North and NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group, told CoventryLive that there are aware of incidents in Nuneaton, Bedworth and Coventry where people have treated an official NHS text like one from a scammer – and ignored it.

“We have seen some information go out on social media, warning people that, ‘if you get a text message about a jab, it is fake, so don’t respond’ and we have seen that in the Nuneaton, Bedworth and Coventry areas,” she explained.

“Rightly so, people trust their community group or local Facebook page, they have trusted that message, which is absolutely understandable.

“But now it is about being really clear and saying yes, GPs and the providers of the vaccine locally are using a combination of letters, telephone and now text messages for the booking service for people to book their vaccination.

“But, I must stress, you will not be asked for any bank details.

“If anyone is asking you for anything to do with bank details or money is not from the NHS and if you are worried, I would say, rather than ignore it, contact your GP surgery, because they will know if they have sent the information or not.”

The update comes as an appeal is being made to the over 70s across the region to get booked in for their Covid-19 vaccination.

As we reported in our newsletter, Dr Raistrick has made a plea to all over 70s who have yet to have the vaccine to come forward.

She explained that people are not longer being advised to wait to be contacted – instead they are being urged to make the call themselves.

All patients who are aged 70 and over and who have not already had their first vaccine can arrange a vaccination through the national booking service which can be found online here or call 119 between 7am and 11pm.

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