Having to travel 59 miles for 3rd Pfizer Jab - Vasculitis UK

Vasculitis UK

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Having to travel 59 miles for 3rd Pfizer Jab

Investigator1 profile image
15 Replies

Well what a morning I have had. I got my letter Monday telling me to contact my GP or Consultant. I am due my Rituximab in 4 weeks so at the limit for vaccine. GP surgery said contact 119. I did but they said can’t book it now because the 6 months since your last jab isn’t up until Thursday. Rang this morning to find out “Sorry we only arrange boosters not 3rd jabs) rang Doctors, “we don’t have any clinics available yet” ring 119 tell them you want a booster! It’s exactly the same. I said you want me to lie? Yes! Wasn’t comfortable but rang back 119, they took details to tell me “sorry! Your not eligible because your CEV, the system cannot book appointments for CEV who want 3rd jab, it’s different to the booster, call your GP back. Called GP back, they said “sorry can’t help” try walk in centre” none available until Saturday. In total desperation rang Consultant who I see tomorrow (answer phone) didn’t ring back. Further desperation rang local pharmacy, they suggested everything I had already done.

The Pharmacist out of the kindness of her heart said “have you a letter? Yes! “Can you prove the date of your last vaccine? Yes! 21st April. So she has agreed to see me in her walk in vaccination centre tomorrow which is 65 miles from the Hospital I am seeing my consultant at.

What a Bloody nightmare! This is not right!

Nick

15 Replies
May7 profile image
May7

This is disgusting treatment. The third Pfizer vaccine is identical to the Pfizer booster, and you should have been given one or the other wherever you could get one.

Churg profile image
Churg

It is extremely frustrating. As I understand it ,if you have a letter stating that you need a third vaccine then you can take it to any vaccination centre and they will do it (until proved otherwise!)I am immunosuppressed but have not received a letter so I copied the regulations and eligibility from the JCVI and a copy of the letter authorising third vaccination. I asked them to verify that I was eligible and write the letter, and sent it all in an SMS to my GP. Amazingly I got an immediate reply and was told that the doctor would check and if he or she gives the go ahead I was even told which vaccination centre it would be.I am fairly certain if I had not been proactive nothing would have happened. It would probably be a good idea to find a local vaccination centre and sound them out. Save a journey! Trouble is finding the telephone number but I am sure that is possible. If you go to the NHS vaccination website you could fill in your details as if you were having a booster and find out where the clinics are. It is also my understanding that the booster is half the full vaccine dose, not as stated by May7, so this is another area of confusion. Also for the immunosuppressed it only has to be two months after the second vaccine. This is the whole point because the immunity in the immunosuppressed apparently wanes more rapidly over time

In fairness it is a mammoth task and for us to help in the shortfalls is not unreasonable but they should be much better informed than they are. They seem to lack a nationwide directive. I too have wasted a whole morning on this!

May7 profile image
May7 in reply to Churg

There is a lot of confusion out there, so I had checked NHS and JCVI online about doses. Pfizer booster is a full dose, but if Moderna is given, then it is a half dose. I had my Pfizer booster last Saturday, being exactly six months to the day from when I had my second dose. The dose given was recorded as being identical to that given for my first two doses. i.e 30 micrograms/0.3 ml dose. This had been arranged by my GP surgery in conjunction with two others. Furthermore I received a text and then letter from NHS Vaccine about third doses for immunocompromised only last week. My rheumatology dept told me to have my booster as booked, and then I would get a fourth dose in six months time. From what I can tell we are in a postcode lottery as to what happens when, and what our respective GP surgeries do. Good luck everybody!

Investigator1 profile image
Investigator1 in reply to May7

Postcode lottery indeed or GP Practice competency and assertiveness. Some are just useless. Like mine!

Main1234 profile image
Main1234

So sorry Nick you had a nightmare, it’s stressful dealing with this as well as appointments and medication. My OH had a good experience with his 3rd Covid jab but like you we were pro active and it helped because I know how the system works!

My OH is due his RTX at the same time as you are , happy days

Investigator1 profile image
Investigator1

Yeah happy days kiddo! These things are sent to test us. Decided that if I get my jab tomorrow and I get the ok for my treatment in 4 weeks it’s a major result so will celebrate tomorrow night.

Mooka profile image
Mooka

This is shocking. Have you checked the website for your local CCG. Mine showed all the drop in centres where I could get my third jab. Went on Wednesday armed with my letter and it was like a breath of fresh air. They knew the difference between the booster/third vaccine and told me I will get my fourth one in six months. Maybe you can find a drop in clinic nearer. Good luck.

Investigator1 profile image
Investigator1 in reply to Mooka

Got to the Hospital for my scheduled appointment today and my Consultant was waiting with a form for the Vaccination. Got it done there and then at the Staff Vaccination Centre. My Consultant was disgusted with the carry on. She said it’s ridiculous driving all that way when your Local Practice are sat on their backsides doing nothing to help., she added that they have the authority to get the jab done in a variety of places and ways. She is reporting them. Usually I would have said please don’t bother but the fact that they were prepared to let me drive a round trip of 140 miles when it was avoidable. So be it!

May7 profile image
May7 in reply to Investigator1

So pleased to read this. Mainly that you have had your jab, but also to know that your consultant is reporting your local practice. I re-read your original saga and just cannot believe that any patient would be dismissed like that, let alone a CEV patient.

Investigator1 profile image
Investigator1 in reply to May7

Thanks May7, I have had to call the nice pharmacist that agreed to help me out. Feel really sorry for messing her about but I had the chance of the jab where I was and took it. Next time I will demand to speak to a Doctor, the Practice Manager is the one and her team who let everybody down.

Mooka profile image
Mooka

So pleased you are jabbed. It seems a complete mess from start to finish.

Investigator1 profile image
Investigator1 in reply to Mooka

Thanks Mooka, they don’t seem to understand that hassle and stress are the last thing that people with Autoimmune diseases need.

egre profile image
egre in reply to Investigator1

My experience has similarities with yours. It has taken 4 days to book a 3rd primary dose.I got the letter advising the need for this so I contacted the surgery who told me they weren’t able to do the jab and I should ring 119 or go into the link for the booster! I got weary of explaining I didn’t want the booster and why.

I duly rang 119 and was told someone would ring me back to discuss the issues. I wondered what is there to discuss?No one rang back so I tried again today and it was impossible to get through to anyone.

Beginning to feel defeated and almost ready to just have the booster I rang the surgery again updating on lack of any progress. I was told again that the surgery could not help with this and I could either go to a walk in clinic of around 70 mile round trip away or ring the hospital who sent the letter. I rang the hospital and spoke to a very helpful person who knew what I was talking about and booked me into a vaccination centre which is only7 miles from home.

The moral of the tale is not to expect the surgery to help and to sort it out for yourself. Good luck to those still trying.

Main1234 profile image
Main1234

Glad you were able to get your 3rd vaccination . Your consultant sounds on the ball .. it’s everyone for himself I fear .

Investigator1 profile image
Investigator1

Thanks Main1234. Yep! Your right. Consultant is a gem, GPs at local practice are ok, it’s the Practice Management. Same old story with the NHS, brilliant front line staff supported by poor admin.

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