GPs offered Covid jabs for the first time yesterday but hundreds of Brits had appointments postponed because of delivery delays.
Maureen and Gerry Hughes, aged 84 and 81, were the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from a GP in England.
GPs in England are furious after hundreds of Brits’ appointments to get the Covid vaccine had to be cancelled over delivery delaysCredit: AFP
The couple, who had their jab at Feldon Lane Surgery in Halesowen, West Midlands, now plan to see family at Christmas.
Mrs Hughes, a retired telephonist, said: “It means an awful lot. I can’t thank the people enough that have made this vaccine possible. We’re just really excited.”
Around 280 practices in England will receive their first batch of 975 doses by the end of this week. But some had to cancel appointments booked for yesterday and today after learning they will not arrive in time.
One Kent GP wrote on Twitter: “Having spent weeks organising these Covid vaccines and getting 975 patients booked in, we have been told they won’t be arriving on Mon as planned but Tues sometime. I have 80 patients booked in for Tues am.”
Another Kent GP, according to GP online, said his site had “hundreds of patients booked in” to start vaccinations on 18 and 19 December – but that there were now “uncertainties” over vaccine delivery dates.
Another in Merseyside wrote that his practice’s vaccine delivery time had been pushed back by 24 hours at the last minute. After a day of calling patients to book them in, he wrote: “We’ll have to ring them ALL again tomorrow.” Strict storage rules mean doctors, pharmacists and nurses will have just three and a half days to use all doses once they arrive.
Gerry Hughes, 81, was the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech jab with his wife from a GP in England and said ‘It means an awful lot’Credit: PA:Press Association
Wife Maureen, 81, and Gerry can now plan a family gathering over ChristmasCredit: PA:Press Association
Around 280 practices will receive the jabs by the end of the week, but many had to cancel appointments after learning they will not arrive in timeCredit: PA:Press Association
They will be offered to people over 80, NHS workers, and care home residents and staff first. Vaccination teams will head into care homes by the end of the week after regulators gave permission for the batches to be split.
Dr Gillian Love, from Halesowen Primary Care Network, said: “The vaccine is a fantastic opportunity to restore a degree of normality, for families and friends to reconnect, and for the country to get back on its feet. I would encourage anyone offered the Covid-19 vaccine to step forward when asked to do so. This is our opportunity to protect ourselves and each other.”
Dr Nikita Kanani, director of primary care at NHS England, urged all those expecting to receive the vaccine to be patient and wait to be called up by their GP.
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