Calls for patience as over 40s struggle to book vaccines

Doctore Parikh with the Pfizer vaccine Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Those trying to book Covid vaccines are being told to remain patient - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Those looking to book their first coronavirus vaccination are being told to remain patient as the rollout was extended to anyone over the age of 40.

In recent weeks those aged over 42 were able to book their first dose of the vaccine online but this was widened on Friday to include all those aged over 40.

Sarah Robinson, 48, from Coombs Ford, has been trying to book an appointment since April 14, when she got her initial invite.


Sarah Robinson has been looking to get a Covid vaccine

Sarah Robinson has been struggling to get a Covid vaccine - Credit: Sarah Robinson

Mrs Robinson said she had struggled to get appointments anywhere near her home and was instead being offered Ilford, London and even Southampton. 

"I had a look that evening there was nothing locally," said Mrs Robinson. 

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"Every time I try and book it, it gets further and further away. There was nothing local at all."

She said she had been passed from pillar to post with her local surgery unable to do anything - they don't offer the vaccine - and the NHS 119 service unable to help either.  

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Both services have tried to pass her from one to the other without any success. 

Mrs Robinson even wandered around Bury St Edmunds over the weekend to see if any vaccines were available on the day without luck. 

"It just seems crazy," she said.

She said it made little sense for people to be told to travel so far when limited travel was being encouraged by the Government. 

A spokesman for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said that supply of the vaccine would hopefully be increasing in the next week or so. 

“Since the beginning of April nationally there has been a limited amount of first dose vaccine, with the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health highlighting the ‘lumpy’ supply of vaccine to the UK," said the spokesman. 

“The vaccine supply is expected to gradually increase from the week beginning May 10.

“If the vaccination clinic locations available on the national booking system website are not close to where you live, we encourage people to keep checking back.

“We are committed to ensuring no one gets left behind in the vaccination programme.”

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