A 63 year-old ex-serviceman was denied his Covid-19 booster vaccine at a walk-in centre after being told he did not have an appointment.
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, made a 40 mile round-trip to receive his third vaccine dose, only to be turned away on arrival.
Speaking to NationalWorld, he said: “I travelled 20 miles each way to a walk-in centre in Cambridgeshire today (1 November), queued up for 20 minutes only to be turned away as I did not have an appointment.”
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The incident occured on the same day that NHS England announced that booster jabs will now be given at walk-in vaccination sites across the country, with no appointment needed to attend.
The NHS said as of Monday (1 November), anyone who is eligible for a booster dose can turn up at one of hundreds of centres in England to get their top-up dose.
After being encouraged to use the NHS online walk-in finder to find his closest centre, which is supposed to be within 10 miles, the 63 year-old travelled 20 miles each way only to leave disappointed.
He added: “It transpires that this announcement was made, allegedly, without informing the walk-in centres first!
“Thus they do not have the staff or vaccines to supply the extra people trying to get a booster.
“It does seem a bit of a misnomer if a “walk-in Centre'' will only accept people with appointments. But what makes this story even better is that today (1 November), Cambridgeshire and Peterborough were declared Enhanced Covid Response areas, so if anywhere should be able to get it right, then this area should.”
NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said booster clinics are currently being held at specific sites across the county and more will be opening up in the coming days and weeks
A spokesperson for the CCG said: “We have already delivered more than 100,000 booster vaccinations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with thousands more booked in over the coming weeks as well.
“Our vaccination centres are very busy with pre-booked appointments at this moment in time, and we are keen to encourage as many people as possible to book their appointments in advance to ensure they can get their vaccination in a timely manner.
“We have started to offer walk-in clinics for booster vaccinations, with more sites being announced over the coming days. Please check www.thevaccinators.co.uk for further details.”
Walk-in booster clinics that are open in the area this week include:
Queensgate Shopping Centre (former Next store), Peterborough – open from Saturday 6 November from 8.30am until 4pm, with a late night until 7.30pm on Thursdays
Werrington Surgery, Peterborough - open from Friday 5 November from 9am until midday (or until supplies last)
The CCG added that not all walk-in clinics are offering booster vaccinations and advised people to check The Vaccinators website before attending.