Over-80s face gruelling trips to vaccination hubs or wait for a unit to open nearer to home 

Some of the first pensioners invited to the new vaccination centres have been told they face long journeys to get their jabs.

Around 130,000 invitations were sent out to those aged 80 or over at the weekend, with 600,000 to follow this week.

But some are astonished at being asked to travel so far.

Mary McGarry, from Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, said she was advised to take her husband, who has cancer and lung disease, 20 miles to Birmingham.

Some of the first pensioners invited to visit new vaccine centres have been warned they could face long journeys to get their jab

Some of the first pensioners invited to visit new vaccine centres have been warned they could face long journeys to get their jab

She said: ‘We’re very reluctant to go into Birmingham city centre.

‘If we can’t get somebody to take us, we’d have to go on the train, but we’re shielding because my husband’s got poor health.

‘We want to know why we’ve got to travel that far?’

She said: ‘We’re very reluctant to go into Birmingham city centre. We’re shielding because of my husband… why have we got to travel that far?’

Kay Hayward, from Whitwick in Leicestershire, was offered five locations – including Widnes, 94 miles away in Cheshire – for her husband Kenneth, 85. She said: ‘I thought they must be joking… we talked about it and we thought it was actually safer to stay here and for him not not have it.’

The NHS says if appointments at the new centres are not convenient, people can be immunised more locally later on.

Separately, some pensioners are being forced to queue at GP practices for hours in order to receive a jab because computers keep crashing, it was claimed last night.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said a glitch in the system was causing chaos, a month after it was first flagged as an issue.

Source

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