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London Covid: Pensioners told to go to Birmingham for vaccine despite local pharmacy offering jab – My London

https://www.mylondon.news/news/health/london-covid-pensioners-told-go-19626964

London pensioners looking to be vaccinated have reportedly been directed as far as Birmingham and Epsom Race Courses by the NHS in order to get the life-saving jab.

Directions to the East India Docks were also issued to several North London residents despite local services operating nearby.

Speaking to MyLondon today (Thursday, January 14) after receiving her coronavirus vaccination outside Cullimore Chemist in Edgware, one Northwood pensioner said the process was ‘crazy’.

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She said: “We drove here from Northwood, we went online on Saturday morning after we received our letter and they recommended three places.

“The East India Docks which was 21 miles, Epsom Race Course which was 31 miles and Birmingham.

“It’s crazy, this pharmacy was excellent in comparison.”

‘One person had to pay £95 to travel for their vaccine’

Cullimore Chemists has been converted into a local vaccination centre
(Image: MyLondon)

Also receiving the vaccine at Cullimore Chemist in Edgware was Zena Fry, 97, who had travelled to the pharmacy from Northwood with her daughter Roz Preston.

The pair were effusive in their praise for the way in which the pharmacy had handled clients but Roz said the process of finding a centre hadn’t been straightforward.

She explained: “My mother isn’t vulnerable she’s just classed as elderly. When we got the letter on Saturday the nearest place they were offering was 19 miles away at the Excel Centre.

“Eventually we found Cullingmore on Sunday. We live in Northwood and when there are local hubs in Ruislip and Rayners Lane it does make you wonder about the logistics of it all.

“We had to come by taxi and the driver told us he had to take people into Central London which cost them £95 to return. That’s quite a lot for a vaccine.

“My impression is that if you’re vulnerable you might get a local call, but if you’re just elderly you get a NHS letter and it’s pot luck where you go.”

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‘We want more doses of the vaccine’

Hassan wants more doses of the jab to made available
(Image: MyLondon)

Many will hope that such difficulties will soon be removed thanks to the roll out of community vaccination centres like the one at Cullimore Chemists.

In just five days since the NHS gave the green light for high S]street pharmacies in England to supply the jab, the team at the Edgware pharmacy have transformed their shop to accommodate the jab.

And now that work has begun, owner Hassan Khan, 33, said the only thing holding them back was the amount of vaccine they had been given.

He explained: “We’re the first London pharmacy to open a Covid vaccination clinic. In five days we made the clinic and we’ve been given 1,200 jabs a week while maintaining our normal services.

“We have an army of volunteers including doctors, dentists and pharmacy workers who are helping deliver the jabs outside of their own working hours to save lives.

“The only issue we have is the supply of vaccine. We just need more because the demand is so high. We’re worried we’ll run out. We could deliver more than what we’ve been given, we’ve had 100 people through the door and it’s not even midday yet!”

Have you heard of any problems involving the roll out of the Covid vaccines? Email: john.james@reachplc.com