‘People are frightened’ – Government’s decision to change vaccine programme criticised after elderly dementia patient’s second dose delayed by up to 10 weeks

A worried Sheffield woman has criticised the Government’s decision to change their vaccination programme mid-stream after her mum - who suffers from dementia - was told she might have to wait another 10 weeks for her second dose.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 2:04 pm

Linda Cawley, from Pitsmoor, said her mum - who lives in Darnall - had her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine two weeks ago and was expected to have her second jab this week.

However, earlier this week they were told that the second dose had been delayed - leaving them and hundred of others in similar situations across the city in limbo for another two and a half months.

“Mum suffers from dementia so we’ve only just managed to persuade her that getting the jab is important,” she said.

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The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine began to be given out before Christmas, but some people's second doses have been delayed.

“It is very confusing and frustrating and quite upsetting really.

“When I went with my mum for her first vaccine just seeing the number of very old people waiting was really moving.

“They are frightened. Many will be thinking they might get the virus in the next 10 weeks now.”

The decision to delay many people’s second dose has been taken so more first doses can be given out to vulnerable people, after Government scientists changed their advice.

The Pfizer vaccine was originally meant to be given in two doses two weeks apart but can now be delivered in two doses 12 weeks apart.

Linda said that while she understands the rationale behind the move, not enough thought had been given to the impact the decision would have on some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

She said: “I get why this is happening but it seems that the Government are moving the goalposts all the time. It is disappointing.

“One of her neighbours got his second dose this week so mum will be wondering why she won't be having hers at the same time.

“I can accept the reasons why but because of her condition she will find it difficult.”

The Pfizer vaccine rollout began in Sheffield in December while the much-anticipated Oxford vaccine will be given to patients at GP surgeries in the city this week.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.