Concerns raised as Royston patients travel for booster jabs

Covid-19 vaccine being prepared

Residents in Royston are currently unable to book the booster vaccine at sites in town - but housebound residents can get jabbed at home. - Credit: PA

After it was announced that the booster programme would be rolled out to everyone over 18 in the country, concerns have been raised over the lack of booster vaccine sites in Royston.

Residents in Royston are having to leave the town to get their third jab, with vaccines offered in Cambridge, Biggleswade, Letchworth and Stevenage.

The lack of vaccine has caused concern, particularly with the new omicron variant. Helen Allen told the Crow she was particularly worried for residents with mobility problems.

She said: "It is such a shame that Royston does not have anywhere to get a booster jab. It is a busy, expanding town and should be able to support a drop-in clinic. 

"You can get a booster booked at Ashwell Pharmacy but not in Royston. I had to travel to Letchworth and had other options of Stevenage or Biggleswade presented to me when I booked. 

"What about those that find travelling difficult? I have just had a leaflet dropped through my letterbox reminding us about the risks of COVID and staying safe but surely being able to access boosters readily is a key point of defence?"

Patients who are registered to a Royston surgery have their healthcare - including the booster COVID vaccination - covered by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group. 

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Those near our town but registered outside of Royston, at Ashwell surgery, for example  - are covered by East and North Herts CCG and can get their booster at Ashwell. 

A Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG spokesperson said: “We have delivered more than 237,000 booster vaccinations across our local area, with thousands more booked in over the coming weeks.  

“Whilst we do not currently have any sites open in Royston, there are a range of local sites available nearby for people to book their booster vaccination with.” 

The CCG spokesperson added that patients who are registered as housebound on their GP records will be offered the option to have their vaccination at home if they are unable to travel.

They also said the National Booking Service only shows sites that currently have available slots to book. With current high demand, this means not all active sites are always shown when you go to book.

An East and North Hertfordshire CCG spokesperson said: "Royston patients would be accepted in any of the clinics in our area. More and more pharmacies are being added to the national booking site all the time."

Go to www.thevaccinators.co.uk to find a walk-in venue near you that is offering boosters, or book your appointment via www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119. 


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