Shielding Sheffield pensioner, 84, faced with two-hour bus trip to get Covid vaccine
A Sheffield pensioner shielding against coronavirus is facing a two-hour round trip on public transport to get vaccinated.
Barry Hepburn, 84, who lives in Mosborough and is a patient at the Mosborough Health Centre, has been given an appointment at Beighton Health Centre on Saturday, which will require him to take two bus journeys there and back.
He said: "The idea of doing that fills me with fear, I’m avoiding this sort of thing and there’s plenty of other people who can’t [use public transport].
"There are plenty of 84-year-olds who aren’t that fit and healthy who are wide open to infection.”
Barry – a former councillor at Trafford Council in Greater Manchester, who served on a District Health Authority and a Community Health Council – said there was an eight-day wait for an available appointment to get the jab, which he claimed was the last one for nearly another week.
He added: “This is a pandemic, people are dying. Our CCG aren’t fit for purpose.
"Why on earth didn’t they have the nous to open one in the middle of Sheffield? Why haven’t they done it like other areas and set up these mass vaccination centres with crowds of people going in, turning up in a day or two and getting done by the hundreds?”
Sheffield's FlyDSA Arena is set to be used as a mass vaccination centre, which will be open 12 hours a day, seven days a week, but an opening date has yet to be confirmed.
The Star also understands more mass vaccination sites across South Yorkshire will be confirmed this week.
The latest NHS England data reveals that as of Monday, 2.4 million people have been vaccinated in England. More local data is not currently available.
Alun Windle, chief nurse and Covid vaccination lead at NHS Sheffield CCG, said: “In Sheffield, groups of GP practices are working together in their primary care networks to administer the vaccine to their local communities.
"The programme is being rolled out in a phased manner with more locations coming online soon to ensure we get even more people in the community vaccinated. Some patients will have the vaccination at a place that isn’t their usual practice, and if patients are unable to travel to their appointment they should speak to their local practice.”