Complaints as elderly people wait in freezing conditions for vaccine

The vaccine is being rolled out across the country. 

The vaccine is being rolled out across the country. - Credit: Archant

Elderly people say they were forced to queue for more than a hour in the cold as they waited to receive their Covid-19 vaccine at a GP practice in St Ives.  

The Hunts Post has been told that one woman, who was siting in a wheelchair, was handed a foil blanket to keep her warm.

Susan Herbert,  71, from Wistow, took her neighbour Clare, aged 81, to the Grove Medical Practice in St Ives on January 19. 

She said: “I was completely shocked at how they had nowhere to stand inside to wait for their vaccination.  

“It’s too cold for them to stand outside in these conditions, it is just so cruel. 

“There were really frail and old people in wheelchairs, one of which had to have a foil blanket over her to keep her warm as she had been waiting for so long.

“When I picked Clare up she was frozen through, they need to find a better location with warm shelter for these patients to wait in.” 

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“They were also handing out biscuits to people in the queue which meant they were then removing their masks to eat them.” 

Michael Daggett, who received his Covid-19 vaccination on January 16 at the same practice, was also really upset after seeing people waiting in wheelchairs outside in the rain.  

Michael said: “The people in wheelchairs who couldn’t get in so they were then made to sit outside in the rain, it's just not acceptable. 

“I was in the queue for over an hour waiting outside and when they eventually asked me to move I was so stiff I could hardly move.  

“I spoke to someone who was working for them and they said they were expecting to get 48 people an hour in and out to receive their vaccine.  

“The queue was really long and it is totally unacceptable to use this as a vaccination centre.” 

Both Michael and Susan said the entrance was also the exit and they expressed there should have been a different exit as people were crossing each other within a two-metre distance. 

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, said: “We’ve already made important and positive progress in getting at-risk people in our community vaccinated, and our St Ives vaccination site has been set-up with a marquee and outdoor heaters to ensure those waiting in our socially distanced queue stay as warm and dry as possible.

"People can really help us by ensuring they arrive on time for their appointments, rather than early, so that we have a smooth flow of people through the vaccination centre.”