Labyrinthine Covid booster system is the real reason for delays

Having read your report (番号 10 concerned as 4.5 million eligible people fail to get Covid jab boosters, 2 11月), I wonder how many people’s experience mirrors mine? I received a letter from the NHS advising me to contact my GP about a booster, as I am it seems clinically vulnerable, as well as being elderly. My GP could not take action, having run out of vaccines and not knowing when there would be a further supply. The NHS letter told me that – presumably because of my medical condition – I am not able to book a vaccination via the NHS website or phone. Doubtless the same applies to the new walk-in centres. I am not sitting on my hands and ignoring the call. If the government is serious about getting people like me a third jab, perhaps it should look closer to home for the reasons for delay, rather than seeking to shift blame.
Valerie Bayliss
シェフィールド

To read that No 10 is concerned that folk are failing to get their booster has got me totally incensed! About three weeks ago I had an email, followed a few days later by a letter, saying that, as my immune system may be compromised, I had to have a third jab and must contact my GP. I did and was told to contact 119. No joy there, nor on the website, which says that I am not yet eligible. As a 73-year-old with other underlying conditions, I really would like my booster. I am now past the six-months-plus-one-week date, and still can’t make an appointment. Our son has told me now just to turn up somewhere and hope!
Christine Lomax
Mellor, Greater Manchester

Happy to read your article (イギリスのNHSウォークインクリニックで提供されるCovidブースタージャブ, 1 11月), I immediately went on the NHS website to find the nearest one. Foolishly, I imagined that a big city like Bristol would have a few. But I hadn’t reckoned on the continuous run of incompetent announcements by this government. Typing in my Bristol postcode, I was offered Wedmore (20.6 miles away), Stroud (22.9 マイル), Cinderford (23 マイル), Gloucester and Taunton. The NHS website states that no one is more than 10 miles away from a vaccination centre. I despair.
Jane Ghosh
Bristol

I wonder whether people getting their booster jabs realise that these may not be being recorded on the NHS app? My husband received his booster on 23 9月, and it is still not logged on his NHS app in the “Covid records” section, nor on his Covid pass.

We followed the official advice to contact the Vaccine Data Resolution Service (VDRS) オン 119, so as to get what we assumed to be an error rectified. We were astonished to be told by the person we spoke to there that the NHS was not in fact recording boosters on the app at the moment, and that this didn’t matter as it was not currently required for the Covid pass for foreign travel (a dubious claim, since some countries such as Austria are already beginning to stipulate that entry depends on the date of the most recent jab).

Our MP Layla Moran has asked the local director of public health about this, and was told that the boosters are recorded on a GP database, but will take some time to appear on Covid passes. It seems quite incredible that this is not happening automatically at the moment of vaccination, as with the first and second jabs: it will surely be enormously difficult to transfer the information retrospectively.

Perhaps some of the £39bn which has been thrown at the test-and-trace system could be used for an urgent upgrade of the NHS app? It will only be a matter of weeks before this failure will start to cause considerable difficulties for anyone wanting to use their Covid pass at home or abroad, and the NHS app will simply cease to have any point.
Julie Curtis
オックスフォード

There is an alarming lack of consistency in the government’s provision of Covid booster jabs. Having had my second vaccination last May Day, I attempted to book a booster jab on the NHS website on 1 of November, selected “booster” and entered my NHS number and date of birth as instructed, only to be told that appointments cannot be made via the dedicated site and to ring 119. Upon ringing I was told I was not yet eligible and to contact my GP. After a half hour phone queue, the receptionist was most helpful, confirmed that I was eligible, and sent a text inviting me to book a booster, though no appointments were currently available. An extended internet trawl landed a pop-up centre 15 miles away and I was able to book an appointment with minimal fuss and get a booster jab later the same day. I am grateful to all the NHS and volunteer staff involved in the vaccination programme, but remain baffled as to why it requires the persistence of a Patterdale Terrier to actually follow the government’s advice.
Austen Lynch
Garstang, ランカシャー

君は quote an NHS spokesperson saying “It is vital people come forward as quickly as possible – there are appointments available across the country and people can book in through the national booking service or use one of the hundreds of walk-in vaccination sites”. I wonder how many of the missing millions have been refused a booster jab and told, like me on the second occasion, to “try again next week”? (わたし 77 and have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.) I’m pleased to report that I persisted and it was a case of third time lucky, and I had my booster jab on Tuesday. That many ‘fail’ to get the booster jab is probably due to the fact that they have been refused.
Robert Howard
Beeston, Nottinghamshire

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