Skip to main content
Creating a new NHS England: Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHS England have merged. More about the merger.

Part of Coronavirus programme updates, 29 March 2021

Supporting delivery of vaccinations

We're working to provide data, analysis and infrastructure to support the delivery of vaccination programmes and facilitate post-vaccination monitoring.


We're working to provide data, analysis and infrastructure to support the delivery of vaccination programmes and facilitate post-vaccination monitoring.

Appointment booking

Identifying eligible people for cohort 6

We delivered multiple data and technology solutions to enable accurate identification of around 6 million people eligible for vaccination as part of Cohort 6*. This included carers and those aged 16 to 64 years whose underlying health conditions increase their risk serious disease and mortality from COVID-19.

We conducted a population level risk assessment to identify the higher risk cohort using digital infrastructure developed by NHS Digital and a predictive model developed by Oxford University (described in detail on the Identifying and protecting vulnerable citizens page). The population risk assessment was completed on 14 February and loaded into the National Immunisation Management Service (NIMS) on 24 February.

Data was collected from 156 sources to identify around 2 million carers and established new data flows to pass this data to the National Immunisation Management system (NIMS), enabling these carers to be offered vaccinations as part of Cohort 6 (all flows in place by 5 March).

*The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has prioritised vaccination for specific cohorts based on increased risk from COVID 19. Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID 19) vaccination: advice from the JCVI, 30 December 2020.

National Booking Service (NBS)

We continued to enhance the national Book a coronavirus vaccination service. As of 21 March, over 6 million people have used the service to book appointments at NHS vaccination centres and community pharmacies (bookings into PCNs and Hospital Hubs are currently managed directly by those providers. The service is also used to check patients into these vaccination sites and to manage appointments.

A programme of ongoing performance testing and scaling has continued to ensure the platform remains performant whilst expanding the number of sites, types of vaccine available and number of concurrent users. The service has been assured to support 5 million vaccinations per week.

Call and Recall Service

We've continued to manage a service that sends vaccination letters to eligible citizens and issues reminders to people that did not attend or book appointments. As of 26 March, 15 million letters and 4 million text messages have been issued. The focus is now on completing invitations for cohort 9 (people aged 50 to 54) and on sending reminders to those who have not yet booked a vaccination appointment.

A text messaging service has been successfully piloted and is now being used in parallel with letters as a more rapid mechanism for notifying people of their eligibility for vaccination.

Data access

Summary Care Record Application (SCRa)

We delivered a new ‘COVID-19 Vaccination’ tab in the SCRa on 5 February and in SCRa 1 click on 25 March, enabling authorised users to view a patient’s coronavirus vaccination history. The new tab is only displayed if a patient has had at least one vaccination and is usually available within 48 hours after vaccination event information is entered into point of care systems.

As of 25 March, the new tab in SCRa had been viewed over 33,000 times across 1,300 care settings, with the majority of views in provider trusts and community pharmacy sites.

Adverse reactions

We delivered a new data flow to GP IT systems on 18 March to enable data on adverse reactions to be viewed in GP records.

Reporting on local performance

A tactical solution was delivered on 23 March to provide GPs and other stakeholders with information on vaccination events for their practices. Work on the strategic reporting solution is underway in conjunction with stakeholders.

Data quality

Data and dashboards

We delivered the minimum viable product (MVP) for the private data quality dashboard on 18 March. This dashboard displays results of reconciled vaccination event data across all vaccination systems and enables proactive resolution of any differences.


Communication infrastructure


We've continued to work closely with NHS England and telecommunications suppliers to ensure that fixed connectivity, WiFi and back up 4G connections are available for vaccination centres, primary care sites and community pharmacies.

As of 26 March, NHS Digital had facilitated procurement and overseen installation of communication infrastructure to 124 sites with work underway with a further 22 sites. Deployment is being managed to align with vaccine supply.


Last edited: 21 July 2021 1:52 pm