Liam Thorp was taken aback when told he was roughly the height of a thumb (Picture: Liverpool Echo)
A journalist in his thirties with no health conditions was offered the Covid vaccine early because his GP surgery recorded him as being 6.2cm tall.
Liverpool Echo political editor Liam Thorp was left ‘really confused’ when he was offered the jab this week, considering there are still many vulnerable people out there who still need one.
He was under the impression you should always accept an invitation, so he went ahead and booked an appointment, but something still didn’t sit right with him.
Liam decided to call his local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to ask if there had been some kind of mistake and was taken aback by their response.
He was told he had been recorded as being 6.2cm tall, instead of his actual height of 6ft 2inch, when he registered with his GP about a year ago.
This meant NHS staff mistakenly thought he had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28,000 – around 1,000 times higher than the UK average – which would have made him morbidly obese.
Writing in the Echo, Liam said he joked over the phone about ‘putting on weight and losing a significant amount of height during the lockdown’.
The journalist says he put on some weight during lockdown, but not that much (Picture: Liverpool Echo)
He added: ‘If I had been less stunned, I would have asked why no one was more concerned that a man of these remarkable dimensions was slithering around south Liverpool.
‘But he was very apologetic and really nice and I think he was just relieved that I found it so funny.’
Liam said it was a ‘frankly surreal’ experience and wasn’t sure how the man on the phone ‘kept it together’ when he told him of the blunder.
The mistake got plenty of laughs from the journalist’s friends, family and colleagues after he shared the comical mishap on Twitter.
Manchester Evening News politics and investigations editor Jennifer Williams tweeted: ‘Should they not have been in touch before to see how the man the size of a thumb was getting on?
Under-50s with no underlying health conditions aren’t expected to be vaccinated until the summer (Picture: PA)
Liam replied: ‘Just let clinically obese Tom Thumb live his life Jen.’
Author and palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke said: ‘This, for me, is the single best tweet of the entire pandemic Liam.
‘And may I please commend your decency in not exploiting your remarkable BMI to jump the queue?’
Liam pointed out that the mishap showed how important it was for people to check if they think they’ve been invited for a vaccine by mistake.
Liverpool CCG chair Dr Fiona Lemmens said: ‘I can see the funny side of this story but also recognise there is an important issue for us to address.
‘There are millions of GP appointments taking place every day and while we take care to make sure records are accurate occasional data errors do occur.
‘We are grateful to Liam for his honesty and for alerting his GP practice when he received his vaccination invitation.
‘We would encourage anyone who has received a text invitation that they think they are not eligible for at this stage, to contact their GP practice to clarify.
‘This will help ensure that more vulnerable people get vaccinated first.’
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