Frustration as vulnerable people in Norfolk left waiting for Covid boosters

Clyde Scarff, from Diss, who is extremely clinically vulnerable, has been told he is on a waiting list for his third jab.

Clyde Scarff, from Diss, who is clinically extremely vulnerable, has been told he is on a waiting list for his third jab but has not got a date for when that might be. - Credit: Sarah Zanoni

People in Norfolk have told of their fear of being left behind in the vaccine roll-out after some of those eligible for their booster jab had been unable to get a confirmed appointment.

Clyde Scarff, from Diss, has been unable to get his third jab despite being told by the CCG he is on a waiting list.

The 84-year-old, who is clinically extremely vulnerable and unable to leave his house so has to have his jab at home, has a number of conditions including cancer and damaged lungs.

Mr Scarff said: "Every time I ring I'm told there's a list and we will be seen, but there's no date.

"I guess I'm not the only one in this position but I can't get an answer.

"I phoned them on Monday and was told to phone them in two weeks time if I haven't heard anything." 

But the CCG said it is "committed" to making sure no-one gets left behind and is urging people to "be patient".

Homeless people in Norfolk and Waveney will not be prioritised in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccin

Some vulnerable people in Norfolk have been unable to get a booster jab. - Credit: Denise Bradley

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Mr Scarff, who was given his second jab seven months ago at home by his GP practice, said he can not risk catching Covid and wants to be able to get his third dose for "peace of mind" as people visit his home every day for his care needs.

He added: "I just find it so annoying that when you switch the TV on they tell you to get it and I'm bending over backwards to get mine, but can't go nowhere."

His daughter Sarah Zanoni, a nurse, said the situation is "just not good enough", and she feared other elderly people in Norfolk were in a similar position.

She said: "We have someone who is very poorly, vulnerable and susceptible to infection who hasn't had a third jab.

"My mum also needs a booster and is my dad's carer so can't go get a booster and leave him at home.

"It seems pretty chaotic."

It comes after Sandra Colley, 70, also spoke about her struggles to get her booster at home after receiving her second dose on March 29.

Sandra said she felt like she had been forgotten as her doctors had failed to register her as vulnerable throughout the pandemic.  

“I can’t leave the house at all, not even by car or taxi, so I have to rely on my lovely neighbours to help me out,” she said.  

Elsewhere, Sophie Connell said she could not believe that Norwich was "so unprepared for offering the booster" after being told the nearest centre offering it was in Leicester when she tried to book hers using the NHS website.

A spokesperson for NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG said demand is "incredibly high given the age profile of our population" and the number of people currently eligible in the region.

They said they are working with provider partners across the health and care system to "increase capacity" which will include providing extra vaccination clinics and increasing the number of appointments available to book, and to increase the number of boosters by extending opening hours and adding extra dates at existing sites.

The spokesperson added: “Appointments on the national booking system are opened in line with vaccine supply and the availability of vaccinators, so we continue to urge people to keep checking the portal as additional appointments are added on a regular basis.

“We are currently focused on getting all the local measures in place to ensure that everyone eligible for a booster is given the chance to book one by the end of January when they are invited to do so.

"This additional capacity is still being planned and we will share the details of when, where and how people can access new opportunities for a booster vaccination as soon as we have confirmed information.

"We are committed to making sure no-one gets left behind but we need your support to make sure people are vaccinated in the right order and those most vulnerable to Covid-19 get protected first.”

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