An NHS board’s roll-out of the fourth coronavirus vaccine has been criticized after pensioners were made to stand in queues lasting over an hour – for what were meant to be scheduled appointments to get their jabs.
Scottish NHS boards began rolling out a second booster jab for the over-75s and those considered to be particularly vulnerable to Covid last month.
The top-up jag is being administered to Scots approximately six months after they received their first booster jab last autumn.
However, pictures shared with the Record suggest the roll-out of the jabs is not progressing as smoothly as health chiefs may have hoped.
The images showed a line of older people stretching out from the front door and around the corner of the Lagoon Leisure Center in Paisley on Sunday afternoon.
The author of the pictures said he had taken his 82-year-old dad and 79-year-old mum to the center to get their second booster jabs on April 10.
They arrived at 1.45pm for a 2pm appointment. But half an hour after their scheduled time, they were still outside the building – and were told by those coming out of it they would be at least another hour before they were even vaccinated.
The man said his parents were eventually vaccinated shortly before 4pm – two hours after their supposed appointment time.
He told the Record: “The queue is right round the building – all these old people are standing around outside the building. It’s a shambles.
“And apparently there’s a big snake of a queue when you actually get in the door.
“My dad’s 82 and he’s got dementia, so he’s not got a long attention span and can’t handle this.
“They gave him a 2pm appointment and he’s not even in the building half an hour later.”
He added: “You would think the NHS would know what it was doing by now.
“If it were 35-55 year-olds standing about that would be fine – but you can’t ask over-75s to stand around this long. They’re standing with their walking sticks and everything.”
Bosses at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have apologized for the delays at the Lagoon Centre, which they have blamed on “very high demand”.
But a spokesperson for the health board declined to say why appointment times were not being met.
They said: “We are sorry that some patients have experienced delays at Paisley Lagoon Centre.
“The clinic has been extremely busy today due to very high demand for the second booster, and in response we have brought in additional members of staff to help meet demand.
“We would like to thank members of the public for their patience and support when attending our clinics, and we are grateful to people for continuing to take up the offer of vaccination.
“Getting vaccinated is the single best way people can help in the fight against COVID-19, and we would encourage everyone to take up their invitation.”
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