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Covid booster

Does anyone have any difficulty with getting the covid booster jab?

My surgery has just been telling everyone to book online, and online all the places to get the jab are a long trip away on public transport, out of town.

That doesn't sound very safe, going on public transport, covid wise.

Today is my third time trying to book and finally, I phoned the general enquiry line rather than the appointment line and had to be very firm to get the person who answered to listen to me. She is going to ask her booking colleague to call me back after she has explained the situation, then I hope to get a local appointment.

I'm not counting my chickens yet because this has been so difficult up to now, but fingers crossed while I wait.

Hope everyone else has found it a lot easier? Or if not, have you had difficult experiences as well?

Created By on 10/11/2021

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10th Nov 2021 19:56:17 (Last activity: 13th Nov 2021 18:20:40)
Thanks for voting!
Hi Sandra,
My problem was not with getting the appointment although it was at a different venue from where I had had the first two jabs. I thought it would be okay because it was at a pharmacy about 7 miles away so I drove over and my goodness - what a shock! The consulting room was actually the under-stairs storage cupboard! It was the width of the door and long enough for two chairs and a computer screen on a shelf - no natural light, ventilation or air conditioning. The woman who was doing the jab was very abrupt and called me by the previous patient's name twice. I corrected her and she eventually found me on her screen. She stabbed the needle into me as though she was aiming at a dartboard - ouch!!!, told me to take a leaflet - which should have been read before I had the jab and when I asked for the batch number of the vaccine she said that she hadn't got it. I told her that it was on the bottle of vaccine which she was holding and she, very grudgingly, gave it to me. I was really annoyed because these pharmacies will be receiving huge payments from the NHS for offering this service so the least I would expect is polite behaviour!
Response from Sandra222 Original Poster made on 11th Nov 2021 12:12:46
Hi Carole
Great to see that you asked for the batch number of the vaccine. That must be your NHS experience shining through. Bolshie behaviour from staff is a bugbear of mine. I've made 4 calls to my surgery now about my booster and the second call was to a very fed up receptionist. She angrily told me to not phone and that I had to book online. I get that she probably has loads of calls on the booster subject which she can't really answer, but she was very abrupt.
My worry about that is that people can easily be put off making appointments because of staff attitude, even the attitude of doctors, and something serious could be missed.
Probably not easy to stay polite and take time with customers when you've spoken to people all day and some of them have not been nice to you, but it is an important part of the job.
Bit concerned that your vaccine venue didn't have any ventilation. Not good.
Response from CaroleAH made on 11th Nov 2021 13:53:12 > @Sandra222
Hi Sandra,
Hope you have had some joy with your Covid booster appointment. When I had my first two jabs I was given a card and all the details of the vaccine were written on the card. At the pharmacy which I attended for the booster the only thing I was given (apart from a sore arm!!!) was the Pfizer leaflet so I wanted the batch number to write on that for my records.
I know what you mean about people being put off by officious staff attitudes when they try to make an appointment. Having worked on A&E reception for 13 years then nearly 25 years in general practice starting as a receptionist and ending up as practice manager, I have dealt with a lot of irate customers. In A&E we always found that those who shouted longest and loudest were the ones who were the least injured and knew to keep an eye out for the quiet people who were probably in the most pain but didn't want to make a fuss.
I'm going to find out which area health authority is responsible for the pharmacy and then email them with my concerns.
Response from Sandra222 Original Poster made on 12th Nov 2021 09:52:23 > @CaroleAH
Hi. You'll be able to see in this thread that I didn't have any joy so sent an email to the surgery copied to the health authority. I'm pleased you're emailing the health authority with your concerns about the pharmacy that gave your booster. A tiny "room" with no ventilation is not the way to go. And not seeing the importance of the vaccine batch number is bad training.
I've got the card with stickers for my first two covid vaccines. Hope they stick something on for the booster, when I finally get it, or I will do what you did and write the date and batch number on the leaflet. I would actually like to write it on the card if there is no sticker. Maybe I will ask at the appointment if they are happy for me to do that.
The first two covid vaccines and the flu jab ran so smoothly!
I'm off work this week so I've been able to register with this site and respond to some threads. I can see there are great people on this site so hope to find some time during an ordinary working week.
Response from CaroleAH made on 12th Nov 2021 10:53:36 > @Sandra222
Hi Sandra,
Like you, I've got a card with my first 2 Covid jabs and all the details recorded on it so I was expecting something similar for the booster. Friends who attended the vaccine centre where I went for my first two jabs got a booster card as well. To be honest, I feel that the pharmacy I went to just wants the money which the NHS will be paying them for providing the booster jabs albeit a substandard and unacceptable service. Feeling better now that I have rattled a few cages!!! I'm not really that type of person and tend to bite my lip rather than complain but this time, I was really annoyed so have emailed NHS England with my concerns..
Response from Sandra222 Original Poster made on 12th Nov 2021 11:18:06 > @CaroleAH
Hi Carole
I have a friend going for a booster jab this weekend so I will ask whether he got a card. He will be going to the same place that he got the first two jabs.
I feel better as well for venting my concerns in an email. I have always tended to put up with things and then feel resentful but that is one of the advantages of getting older, I'm less concerned about the consequences of speaking out.
I will let you know if I get a response to my email.
Response from Sandra222 Original Poster made on 13th Nov 2021 18:20:40
Hi Carole
My friend didn't get any written evidence that he'd had a booster today. I had mentioned that someone on this forum had had to ask for the batch number and he had the presence of mind to do the same. He said they were grumpy about it but wrote it down. He had to jot down the date and the vaccine brand name. The first two jabs there was a card with a sticker. When he queried it today he was told to call the surgery for a print out. He's going to do that on Monday but honestly what a rigmarole. I think maybe the surgery that did the booster may not have had access to patient computer records.
This rollout is a shambles. He felt that today they pushed people through as quickly as possible and wouldn't entertain any questions.
I will make sure they entertain my questions even if it holds them up a bit. I am becoming pushy because it seems to be the only way to get things done.
He did have an intersting point. Previously I have received a text with my vaccine appointment details, but not so for the booster. Monday I will send my email back to the surgery with a request for a text, so that I've got something to show when I finally go for the booster.
Thanks for mentioning the batch number. That was really useful.
Sandra222 Original Poster
12th Nov 2021 12:10:08
Thanks for voting!
Hi everyone
I've just had a phone call from the surgery booking me in locally for a booster 1 week after the 6 month period. I am so grateful to them. I like to think it was my email paying off so those of you emailing the health authority and MP, hope it works too.
This will be a 40 minute walk away so that's excellent.
I guess you have to push them to get what you want but it makes me wonder why they said all vaccine was allocated ....
11th Nov 2021 22:14:15 (Last activity: 12th Nov 2021 11:40:23)
Thanks for voting!
Seems that I was lucky to able to get my booster at a drop in vaccine centre, without even having to make an appointment, and less than a miles walk from home. However my brother who is in the vulnerable category and also housebound, has been unable to get his booster. We have been told by the GP surgery that they have not been able to get hold of any vaccine yet so patients will just have to wait. Only starting Flu jabs for those housebound from next Monday whereas I had mine almost 4 weeks ago as I can walk to the surgery.
I have contacted the local Health Authority on this matter and awaiting their response.
Response from Sandra222 Original Poster made on 12th Nov 2021 10:01:02
Hello JE
Sounds like you're taking good care of your brother by contacting the Health Authority about his situation. The government don't seem to be taking control of the booster situation and leaving it to individual GP surgeries isn't working. How can it be that if you're not within walking distance, or simply can't walk to the vaccination centre, that you have to wait until next year? My surgery has said they should have more vaccinations available from January. All this while the government ministers ask us to get our boosters. Not a coordinated campaign.
I've been given another suggestion that if the health authority/surgery don't book me in, to contact my MP asking for my email to be sent to the health minister. I will wait a couple of weeks for a response from the surgery/health authority and if I don't get one I may well contact the MP.
Hope you get a quick and good response regarding your brother.
Response from JE made on 12th Nov 2021 10:18:19 > @Sandra222
Good morning Sandra222,
I think it’s a good idea to contact our MPs as I suspect that the government isn’t fully aware of what’s going on. I will do that over the weekend and not even wait to see what the Heath Authority have to say.
It seems that the most vulnerable, through age or health issues, are being neglected and arguably they are the most in need of the booster.
I hope that you get yours sorted soon. Take care.
Response from Sandra222 Original Poster made on 12th Nov 2021 10:26:00 > @JE
Good idea to go straight to your MP. I think you're right that the government, including Sajid Javid, are completely unaware of what a shambles this rollout is.
I am prepared to stand up for myself, but the most vulnerable, and most requiring the booster, need people to stand up for them, so well done.
Hope you get a good response from the MP.
Response from JE made on 12th Nov 2021 11:22:04 > @Sandra222
Hi Sandra,
Just to let you know that I have struck while the iron was hot and have just emailed our MP. Let’s hope it triggers some urgent response.
Response from Sandra222 Original Poster made on 12th Nov 2021 11:40:23 > @JE
Please let me know how you get on. I would be so interested to know. It feels great to be so proactive. I think we're both on a mission.
I'm off work today so looking around the boards for interesting topics this morning.
Sandra222 Original Poster
11th Nov 2021 12:04:25
Thanks for voting!
No good news regarding my covid booster unfortunately.

I was told yesterday that someone would call me back to hopefully book me in very locally. By close of play yesterday that hadn't happened so I called again, and somebody else said I would receive a call back. I hadn't had a call by 11am today so I emailed the surgery and copied it to the Health Authority. Now I will wait to see if this is going to be resolved.

I don't have my own transport and I'm not taking public transport because that seems like a recipe for contracting covid. It would be a 7 mile walk to the vaccine venue and then 7 miles back. Too far. I would like an appointment at a surgery which is a 45 minute walk from my home.

I will let you all know if I receive a response to my email. If an email to the Health Authority prompts a resolution to this issue, maybe that's the way to go.

What a hassle.
10th Nov 2021 20:25:39
Thanks for voting!
Hi, straight on the NHS app and booked in for December.

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