Page 2 | Vaccination centres too far away.

(121 Posts)
Thingsthatgo Thu 06-May-21 20:07:14

I’m really sorry, because I am sure that this has been asked a billion times on here before. I’m 44, and I got my invitation to book my jab through the national vaccination service by text. All of the places are miles away in different cities and I do not drive.
Everyone is saying to wait, and that my GP will contact me, and I’ll get a closer appointment, but when I mentioned it to my GP they said that they would not be contacting me.
Also, not sure it’s relevant, but the booking service seems to think that I’ve missed an appointment or something. It keeps saying that I shall have to rebook rather than just book.
Anyone have any wise words for me?

OP’s posts: |
DrDreReturns Thu 06-May-21 21:19:22

I've just checked the vaccine booking site and the one in my town is now available. Yay! I'm booked in for Monday.

plixy Thu 06-May-21 21:27:11

A friend of mine lives in Worthing and kept getting offered appointment for Havant, which is a ridiculous distance to go. He kept checking and eventually got one for Brighton. I would just keep trying every day , one will come up

SixDegrees Thu 06-May-21 21:32:10

Are there vaccination centres near you?

If there are, I’d keep checking every day, as they do release new appointments.

My friend was saying today that she’d initially only been offered sites that were over an hours drive away, but when she’d checked again a day or two later, there was availability for the vaccination centre in her town.

Thingsthatgo Thu 06-May-21 21:36:54

@mimipuss do you happen to have that number please? smile

OP’s posts: |
Thingsthatgo Thu 06-May-21 21:38:15

@plixy seems like a bit of a problem down in my neck of the woods then! I’ll keep checking! Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
plixy Thu 06-May-21 21:42:03

The racecourse will only book you if you are registered at certain drs -


mimipuss Thu 06-May-21 21:43:54

0300 303 8060

DancesWithDaffodils Thu 06-May-21 21:44:04

Keep trying at different times of the day.
I was being sent over 50 miles away initially. Finally (3 days later) got one "only" 15 miles down the road.
It's not a user friendly system.

MercyBooth Thu 06-May-21 23:10:29

@Tealightsandd I totally agree. And having to piss about like this is ludicrous. This should be accessible to all including to poorer ppl who may not be able to afford taxis or public transport. People who cant afford the internet. And also the hypocrisy of "get a lift with a mate" when ppl havent been allowed to visit friends in their homes for so long because its too enclosed. Pfffttt

MercyBooth Thu 06-May-21 23:14:14

It's not a user friendly system

Which is why i wont be using it.

Runnerduck34 Thu 06-May-21 23:18:12

The automated message about needing to rebook your appointments is automatic if youve looked on website for an appointment but haven't actually booked one- ignore it!
I am age group above you and had similar problem in kent, was offered essex or london both about 50-60 miles away.
I kept checking website a few times a day for a week and eventually got lucky with availability of a single local appointment- so no choice of date or time but local.
So I'd say keep trying and checking, its a pita but hopefully you will get lucky, maybe worth trying to phone to book , or try GP again in week or so?
sadly Its not as easy now to book as it was a month or two ago for older age groups - good luck

Tealightsandd Thu 06-May-21 23:21:41


*@Tealightsandd* I totally agree. And having to piss about like this is ludicrous. This should be accessible to all including to poorer ppl who may not be able to afford taxis or public transport. People who cant afford the internet. And also the hypocrisy of "get a lift with a mate" when ppl havent been allowed to visit friends in their homes for so long because its too enclosed. Pfffttt

It's definitely not good enough to assume everybody has easy access to friends or family to give them a lift, and the volunteer provision varies across the country. It's also difficult for people in pain to travel long distances.

There needs to be local access or it's ignoring disabled people's needs.

Judystilldreamsofhorses Thu 06-May-21 23:29:10

We’re in Scotland where the system is different - all jabs done at conference centres, no GP/pharmacy option, and you just receive a letter with an appointment. Our one is miles away, and we don’t drive. DP has an appointment at 8 on Sunday which is a massive pain in the arse via public transport.

Obviously we are grateful for vaccine etc etc. I understand there are massive amounts of no-shows and I wonder if inaccessibility has something to do with it? My friend’s mum’s elderly neighbour paid £60 in taxis, which is a lot for most people, especially to do twice.

Mumof3girlsandaboy Thu 06-May-21 23:39:40


My DH and all of my friends have had their vaccinations locally, via another system. My DH got a text from his GP and he got an appointment within walking distance of our house (he is two years younger than me with no health issues at all). If I wait, am I likely to get the same text do you think? I don’t really want to take a day off work, and get four taxis and two trains. (I will if necessary, but I’d rather just wait and get one locally if possible)

My friends are having the same problem finding the nearest places. Two of them kept trying until they got appointments nearby. I was lucky I got mine through my GP 5 weeks ago. Just keep on trying and I’m sure you will get somewhere near you.

WombatChocolate Fri 07-May-21 18:51:02

The vast majority if 1st jabs are delivered by the larger centres which are booked via national booking system. GPs have not had deliveries for 1st jabs for over 4 weeks now.

It's journey you have to make twice and is really important. People just need to make it happen. Back in Dec/Jan when there weren't as many centres as now, the 80 year olds got there and vaccinators in here reported how few failed to come and that they made the journey sometimes in snow to get there, using family and charity support when needed. They priorities it even when it was difficult.

Re work, people can take time off work to go for this. It is important. Charities are still offering lifts to help people. People can ask friends and family. There is public transport. We aren't talking CEV anymore but people under 50.

Yes, it might involve a journey and a bit if planning and some cost....but the question is whether it's important enough to get on and overcome the obstacles? Local services just don't have the jab at the moment for 1st doses.

It will be the case that those who choose not to get the jab and book will be contacted eventually by local services who are still involved in the scheme. They will be part of the 'mop-up' and follow up of those who just don't book. But due to supply that might take weeks. So it's as it has always been that if you want it quickly, being prepared to book and travel is almost always the way to get it.

I just don't think it's reasonable for people to expect to be able to be jabbed locally. GPs have to run their usual service and can't deliver the majority of jabs. Lots of GPs now only deal with 2nd jabs. We know numbers of 1st jabs are down to under 200k per day and supply is limited, so it's a case of book and travel or wait. It might be impossible for a few people to travel in this phase, but lots of people could overcome the minor barriers if they really wanted to. And they shouldn't think there going to suddenly be lots of supply locally...there just isn't at the moment.

Tealightsandd Fri 07-May-21 18:59:10

It's not just minor issues for disabled people. The distance and the cost are major barriers for the disabled, particularly those on low incomes.

There's a lower take up amongst disabled people. Guaranteed that for many it won't be because of hesitancy.

There needs to be provision to ensure access to vaccines for the disabled. Many of whom are under 50.

DancesWithDaffodils Fri 07-May-21 19:03:20

Wombat I think you are living in the luxury of having money, and time and in an area where public transport exists.
I've just looked up the driving and public transport times for the centre the national system wanted me to go to as my "closest" for the first 3 days I looked.
Its 50 miles. That 1hr 45 of driving each way (cross country). That's 4hrs, twice, to get a vaccination. On public transport it's over 8 hours each way. That's just not realistic. I have fixed holidays (when I wouid have the kids with me, who I wouldnt (couldn't?) take with me, and work have told us we will not be granted special leave to get a vaccination. While we are not short of money, I dont want to spend whatever that journey would cost me in taxi fares!
I absolutly needed a closer centre - and there is a mass centre 5 miles down the road, and 3 more within half an hours drive (ideally with an evening or weekend appointment, but I realise that is fussy of me).

I dont think desiring a centre accessible by public transport, and under an hours travel is particularly unreasonable.

WombatChocolate Fri 07-May-21 19:05:48

I also think that some people want everything on a plate. They don't want to travel, they don't want to go somewhere they haven't been before, they don't want to have to fork out any money at all.

I think people forget how good we have it here. We have one of the fastest and widest spread roll outs in the world. The jab is free and it is available in all areas, whereas in some countries it's only in capital cities and people, really do have to go hundreds of miles. We have a method of booking by phone or electronically. We can adjust appointments is we need to.

Yet people complain about the computer system (it can be annoying trying to get the 2 appointments that are both needed, but it's a spectacular system to make this whole thing happen and people in Scotland would love to have similar) and people complain because they can't get the jab at their GP or wherever they know jabs were once offered closer to them....they don't grasp that some of these centres are not running or only running for specific jabs or 2nd doses and that there is a BIG PICTURE to organising this and making it happen fast, which just cannot be al about individual convenience ....if it was, it would take bloody years to get through people.

I just think people aren't willing to put themselves out and find ways to make it happen. Most if the obstacles people cite could be overcome with a bit of effort. If people really want to be jabbed, they can be jabbed. If they are put off by the small barriers it's a real shame as it just slows the whole process for them and the next group down. Eventually a closer jab will be offered and available but what a shame to have to wait another 3 or possibly 6 weeks, if actually someone could have asked. Family member to take them, or asked their boss for the day off work to go and have it done, or looked into bus routes and gritted their teeth and just got on and made it happen, like so many people have, rather than letting little barriers prevent them.

There's no point moaning about it. The system cannot provide a local jab for everyone at the first points they are eligible. To do this would mean splitting the small amount of 1st jab amongst thousands of tiny centres and offering a handful of jabs at each....totally unviable if you think about it.

Sorry for lomg rant, it just makes me cross that people can be so easily out off, when the jab is so important. On another thread, someone talked about having to go on a 'road trip' because their journey was going to be 20 miles and take an hour each way. Road trip means a trip of days on end across lots of US states! If we have to give up half a day to get the jab or even a full day, isn't it time well spent?

Tealightsandd Fri 07-May-21 19:12:04

Disability and mobility issues necessitating easier access is NOT about wanting everything on a plate. It's not about not wanting to travel. It's about not being able to travel.

There is a lower take up amongst disabled people because they are unable to get to far away centres. Because of disability.

StillRailing Fri 07-May-21 19:14:05

@Judystilldreamsofhorses check Scotsnet threads on vaccination. If you have an appointment you can rebook via online to a more convenient time or location perhaps.

WombatChocolate Fri 07-May-21 19:14:41

Of course it's easier if you have a car and are confident to drive and have time.

It is a medical appointment and so workplaces should be allowing the time to go.

And if they didn't, isn't it actually a good use of 2 half of whole days of holiday, when we look at the bigger picture?

Have those of you having difficulty asked the local charities for a lift? They are really keen to help those who can't get there for whatever reason? If children are an issue, have you looki to a friend dropping them to school or picking up so it's possible? Charities won't charge to take people and friends and family usually won't either. You see, there are obstacles, but actually they can be overcome in lots of cases.

What do you think should be happening instead? Supply is very low for 1st jabs at the moment. Do you think it should be split into tiny batches and lots of tiny centres offering a handful of doses should run inefficient and expensive clinics so that everyone can go local? Because isn't that the alternative in reality?

Or can you think if other ways to make it fast, efficient and meet your needs better?

Torvean Fri 07-May-21 19:16:41

My brother had to travel 24 miles on the train to another town to get it. There was no other option. So he took it. Can't youtake the kids to school then your husband could drive you there and back. 1 day off work is worth it for getting the first vaccine. Then you might get a closer place for your second.

MercyBooth Fri 07-May-21 19:29:07

@WombatChocolate Speaking of travel ppl in poorer communities arent the ones who insisted on going on the bloody ski trips last year. NOW they are to be criticised for not travelling. Pffftt
I bet you are also one of the ones who would criticise ppl on zero hour contracts for not self isolating.

MercyBooth Fri 07-May-21 19:30:22

Amazing how the onus has been shifted from the rich to the poor.

MercyBooth Fri 07-May-21 19:36:06

Thought i recognised your user name We were on a thread where you assumed social housing tenants dodge paying their rent.
Considering you make these kind of assumptions im assuming that if it came to a choice between someone paying their rent or a taxi fare to get to one of the appointments im assuming you would go for the former Or would it be the latter.

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