'I can't go on like this': Housebound city folk's battle for boosters
- Credit: Carol Stevens
Housebound people desperately waiting for a booster jab appointment say they have been "forgotten" and are now too afraid to open their front doors.
Some 300,000 people registered as housebound are yet to receive their jabs according to papers leaked by the Telegraph last week.
Now some of the city’s most vulnerable people are waiting by the phone for the call to tell them when someone will visit them to administer the jab.
David Morgan, 74, lives alone in the city centre suffers with heart, lung and kidney disease.
He said: “I was told I was high risk and it’s been hard watching millions and millions of people get their jabs, and yet I’m always left until last.
“I’ve been trying for months to get my booster but I just keep being passed around different people."
Mr Morgan, who lives in Cannell Green, has been told that the difficulty is because he is housebound and the vaccine must be kept at a certain temperature while it is transported.
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He said: “I am absolutely terrified. I’m scared to answer my own front door, I just don’t know who could be carrying the virus.”
Mr Morgan was almost brought to tears, adding: “They sometimes run a coffee morning in my buildings but I don’t dare go. I’ve got no family or friends nearby – I can’t keep going like this.
“It feels like no one cares. I just need someone to help me.”
A spokesperson for NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it had increased the number of roving vaccination teams out on the roads across Norfolk and Waveney.
But this provides little reassurance to the daughters of 95-year-old Grace Mann.
Carol Stevens and Jennie Barrett have had no word about when their mum will get her booster.
Ms Stevens said: “My mum has lived in the same house in Thorpe St Andrew since 1956 and worked in Jarrold - it’s like we’ve forgotten our own.”
Ms Stevens thinks the new variant makes the booster even more critical.
She added: “Mum has Alzheimer's, she doesn’t really understand what’s going on but have to try and protect her.”
And Penny Lavell, who lives in Attleborough, has been desperately trying to make an arrangement for her husband Adrian, 74, who has COPD, arthritis and has poor mobility.
Mrs Lavell said: “It’s disgusting. My husband is a person and we are trying our best to protect him, something must be done.”
And even those who have been pencilled in for a specific date are still being let down.
Michael Sabberton was aghast to be offered the jab before his 99-year-old mum, who lives in Norwich.
He said: “We had a call saying it would be a month ago but we haven’t heard anything.”
Likewise Sandra Colley, who lives in NR3, was on track to have her booster this week.
However upon arrival the nurse told Sandra she couldn’t go ahead without the relevant permission from her doctor.
Ms Colley said: “When I called the doctor he said he hadn’t even heard from the community nurse.
“It makes me feel like us oldies just don’t matter. We are the bottom of the list and no one seems to care much about us.
“The housebound have to wait the longest through no fault of our own.”
A spokesman for NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG, said: “The date and time of many home visit vaccinations can only be confirmed 24 to 48 hours in advance due to vaccine delivery and the availability of workforce.”
They added that people who are normally housebound but are able to pre-book a booster and get to a vaccination site with help from a family member or friend should consider this.
They said: “We’d like to reassure housebound patients that we will be in touch with them – there will be a booster vaccination for everyone.
“Housebound patients still waiting for a vaccine have not been forgotten – they will get their booster vaccination as soon as possible.”