Stop sending elderly miles for vaccine jabs – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Nigel Harper, Scotton.

I HAD the privilege of taking an 89-year-old friend from Harrogate to the Yorkshire Showground recently for her Covid vaccination. What an impressive operation – a well-oiled machine.

Whoever was responsible (I assume from the local health commissioning group) for the planning, organisation and logistics on this scale: mobilising teams of efficient and friendly doctors, nurses and pharmacists, not to mention the large number of reassuring volunteer stewards, clearly well-briefed, deserves the highest praise.

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What a contrast with the reluctant bungling leadership of the Prime Minister responsible (but apparently not accountable) now for 100,000 deaths – the highest death rate in the world save for the USA and Brazil.

Harrogate Showground has become a Covid vaccine centre.

If a government’s primary responsibility is for the health and well-being of its citizens, then this government has signally failed.

At a national level there is apparent chaos. Eighty and 90-year-olds who are being contacted by their GPs and directed to the Harrogate showground are at the same time receiving letters directing them to vaccination centres in York or Leeds. Are those responsible centrally unaware there is a vaccination centre on the doorstep?

These elderly people are already very anxious and are likely to have problems with mobility and in the main to be without personal transport.

If not reliant on family or friends for transport, then it would be a taxi at a cost of at least £120 return to get to Askham Bar in York.

A sign leading to the Covid vaccine centre at Harrogate Showground.

A local practice manager told us GPs were unaware that these letters were being sent out to their patients at the same time as practices were contacting them. Are those in central government so far removed that they don’t know what’s going on locally?

From: Coun Nigel Boddy (Lib Dem), Fife Road, Darlington.

IT is said substantial numbers of people are failing to turn up for vaccination appointments. As a result, it is further alleged a large amount of vaccine is being wasted.

Could we perhaps organise local reserve lists, of the kind NHS head Sir Simon Stevens described some weeks ago?

When people fail to show up for their vaccination, could those on the reserve list then be contacted and offered an immediate appointment, if they could attend directly? If there is a problem, this may ensure vaccine is not wasted in any substantial quantities.

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