94-year-old woman turned away from booster jab in Hemel - because 'incorrect' NHS advice meant she was one day early

The advice on the NHS website was amended after The Gazette pointed out the issue

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 12:50 pm

A 94-year-old woman was turned away from the vaccination centre in Hemel Hempstead for her Covid booster jab because she was one day too early - thanks to incorrect advice on the NHS website.

Her son, Andrew, received a text from the NHS and his mum's GP saying she was eligible for her booster vaccine, so he booked an appointment.

At the time, the NHS website said people must wait 180 days before they can have the booster - and his mum had had her second jab 181 days prior to her booster appointment.

The image has been used for illustrative purposes (C) Jordan Lewington

But she was turned away by the centre on Maxted Road on Wednesday, October 6, as the centre is following JCVI guidance and providing the Covid-19 booster jab at least 182 days – six months - after the last dose, and not before.

The NHS website's guidance was updated to 182 days after The Gazette queried the inconsistency.

Andrew said: "According to the NHS website it states you are eligible for the booster job 180 days after your second jab. The Maxted Road vaccination centre was turning a lot of people away.

"It is not acceptable, I received a text from the NHS and from the doctors saying she was eligible and I booked the appointment.

The NHS website says people must wait 180 days before they can have the booster

"My mother is 94, registered blind and unsteady on her feet - it just smacks of incompetence and also a waste of time and money for both me and the NHS. The issue needs to be looked at."

A spokesperson for the Herts Valleys CCG said: “Vaccination centres such as Maxted Road are following all JCVI guidance and people should continue to book and attend their booster vaccinations when they are invited after the correct interval.

"Having a booster vaccination will top-up your protection levels against Covid-19, significantly reducing your chance of getting seriously ill.”

After The Gazette contacted NHS England, the NHS website was updated.

However, NHS England declined to comment.