An RAF veteran nearing his 100th birthday says he's waiting for his Covid vaccination for a month after the program starts as a Sage counselor calls number 10 to ask NHS staff to get the sting.
Arthur Clark, a widower and great-grandfather of four, said he had tried to get an appointment since Christmas and got his local MP to brand the vaccination as "shambolic".
Speaking to MailOnline from his home in Beckenham, South East London, 99-year-old Clark: "It's very annoying, I thought I was lost in the system." He added, "I know it takes a while to reach everyone, but I would have thought they tried to prioritize people my age."
The government aims to get the first dose of the vaccine to 13 million Britons – all over the age of 70, nursing home residents and frontline health workers – by mid-February before rolling it out to other age groups. So far, only 1.5 million have received at least one dose – which means an additional 11.5 million, or around 300,000, will have to be dispensed per day in 39 days.
Some elderly Brits may be missing their Covid puffs due to AWOL reminders and text messages, a patient rights group warned yesterday. MedConfidential told MailOnline that appointments were likely to be missed due to administrative errors that would inevitably occur with the largest vaccination drive in British history.
Dr. Paul Williams, a Stockton GP and former County Durham Labor MP, claimed yesterday that patients would oppose the Pfizer push because they would rather wait for the English one.
Boris Johnson announced yesterday that he would turn on the army to bolster the UK's vaccination campaign, claiming the NHS could give 200,000 thrusts a day until next Friday.
With the administration of vaccines as the only light at the end of the tunnel, the Prime Minister reassured the public yesterday that enough doses are available. He also promised to offer a sting to every resident of a nursing home by the end of January, and announced a new national online booking system designed to speed the process.
The ministers are aiming to increase vaccinations to two million a week. NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens yesterday praised Britain for its "strong start" but admitted that there will be "trouble" and "bumps in the road" as they make their way to the finish line.
Professor Michael Parker of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) is calling for mandatory shocks for NHS staff, which could reduce the risk of the virus spreading in hospitals, meaning fewer NHS staff would have to self-isolate and fewer patients catch the disease on the wards.
However, he cautioned that the program could derail at an early stage due to increasing hospital admissions. More than 10,000 Covid patients have been admitted since Christmas – enough to fill 20 hospitals.
The number of doctors and nurses sick or self-isolating from the coronavirus has quadrupled since September. Up to 46,400 doctors and nurses cannot attend shifts, reports The Independent, which is almost four times the number of 12,382 reported Sept. 2.
Arthur Clark, 99, an RAF veteran, says he doesn't need to get a Covid shot despite the program that started a month ago
The great grandfather of four spoke to MailOnline from his home in Beckenham, south east London, and said he had been trying to get an appointment since Christmas. Pictured on the left is Arthur with his family and on the right is an RAF soldier
Professor Michael Parker suggested that it should be mandatory for NHS frontline workers to get the push. Above is 51-year-old nurse Sue Toye who was vaccinated yesterday at Coventry Health Center
The number of doctors fired because of the virus has quadrupled since September. Above, Covid-19 absences are listed as a percentage of all absences recorded with the NHS since the pandemic began
RACE TO REACH UK: 100,000 BRITS HAVE FIVE DAYS TO COME HOME OR FACE BANNED WITHOUT A NEGATIVE COVID TEST RESULT
Grant Shapps announced today that the dictation of forcing travelers to submit a negative Covid test before traveling to the UK will be imposed "next Wednesday or Thursday" to allow 100,000 Britons overseas to follow suit if necessary To come home.
The Secretary of Transport has stated that no one can travel to the UK by plane, train or ferry unless they present a "recognized" test result at check-in along with a valid passport and visa if required.
Mr Shapps said airlines or other travel agents like Eurostar or P&O would be legally forced to review – and reject anyone without one. Anyone who slips through will be punished with a £ 500 fine on the spot. It is not clear whether they will then be quarantined or prosecuted.
Travelers will have to self-isolate for ten days after arriving, regardless of whether they test negative, against the wrath of travel industry leaders who announced today that the plan would break the UK travel industry with Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye, will continue to harm. Warning: "Very few people will travel with it".
Mr Shapps said the new rules will be in place in five or six days to avoid confusion when returning from abroad.
"The airlines, airlines, train operators or a ferry are legally obliged to check for a test result, just as they check whether you have a passport or whether you are going to the states where you have a visa or a visa waiver." & # 39; he told Sky News.
& # 39; You need to check that you have a coronavirus test that is valid within 72 hours before the flight. You need to look for a passenger search form already so we can contact you if it later turns out that you have been in contact with someone who tested positive.
"At least for now, these forms and tests are a reality of travel – but we hope most people will be vaccinated soon so we don't want to do this permanently."
Return flights are expected to get mixed up with around 100,000 Brits currently visiting hotspots like Dubai and the Maldives.
Ministers approved the tough measures last night amid mounting pressure to tighten borders – but have not confirmed a start date, although it is expected to be next week. They will be reaching out to the British and foreigners to keep out infections and mutant strains like the one in South Africa.
As the UK prepared to speed up vaccinations:
- Up to 100,000 Britons abroad have five days to come home or be banned without a negative Covid test.
- England's beauty marks turn away drivers while police question parents with strollers.
- The Welsh ban is extended for an additional three weeks as schools and colleges are closed until February.
- Nursing home workers with Covid should stay at work due to increasing staff shortages.
- Pfizer's vaccine is effective against the South African and UK strains of coronavirus.
- National Express is suspending all bus connections due to new closures and falling passenger numbers.
- Stanley Johnson announces that he will have his second bump of Covid today after getting the first before Christmas.
Mr Clark told MailOnline, "Every night on TV and on the radio, the government tells everyone what a great job they are doing, but it doesn't feel like it from my seat."
Mr. Clark, a former RAF airman, served in the Far East during World War II and witnessed the liberation of Burma in 1945.
He also met Lord Louis Mountbatten, then Supreme Commander of the Allies in Southeast Asia, when the couple were introduced by the Japanese at the time of Burma's liberation.
Mr. Clark lives with his 89-year-old partner Joyce Stewart, who has also not heard of an appointment for a push.
He said he assumed he slipped through the cracks in the system, but MailOnline found he is one of thousands of over 80s in his area who are still waiting for an appointment for their first injection.
The SE London Clinical Commissioning Group, which is in charge of the roll-out program, said several thousand people are in the same situation and asked them to wait for an appointment.
Brian Clark, 73, and Mr. Clark's son, described the process of trying to book an appointment: “It took ages to get the number, but when I did, they referred me to a local vaccination site on the beacon. Emergency room center.
They again suggested I call a centralized NHS vaccination booking number, but I waited two hours on the phone without being answered.
"It's incredible that a 99-year-old man hasn't had a vaccination or even an appointment a month after it started."
Mr Clark's Labor MP Ellie Reeves said, "This only shows the shambolic truth behind the government's empty promises to vaccinate 2 million people a week."
"If a 99-year-old voter cannot even figure out when to expect a month to be vaccinated under the roll-out program, it is very worrying." My poor constituent is stuck in a very vulnerable position at home waiting to hear when he'll get his first shot, let alone the second dose. & # 39;
A spokesman for the NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The NHS is doing its best to contact everyone in the priority groups so they can get their vaccine as soon as possible. Hospitals and general practitioners use local booking systems and contact them with patients through a variety of methods including ambulances, phone calls, and letters. & # 39;
MedConfidential's Phil Booth emphasized that older people are less likely to have smartphones or computers to receive digital notifications of their appointments.
The NHS is using its normal winter flu vaccination booking service to run the Covid vaccination program. Individual GP practices are responsible for informing patients about their appointments.
It's not uncommon for flu vaccinations to be overlooked due to letters lost in the mail or undelivered text messages. It is also possible that a patient has changed their contact details or home address without notifying their local practice.
The NHS is also trying to reconcile its mass vaccination program against Covid with its largest flu vaccination program to date. This year more than twice as many Brits will be invited to an influenza vaccine.
Boris Johnson has called in the army to boost the UK vaccine launch, Covid. He appeared at the shipping box yesterday with Brigadier Phil Prosser, who was holding a medal, to announce that the army had been called to help
TRANSPORT SECRETARY GRANT SHAPPS WARNING COVID VACCINE CANNOT WORK IN SOUTH AFRICAN STRAIN … HOURS AFTER THE STUDY, IT SAYS IT WORKS
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on ITV
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned today that the current wave of vaccinations may not protect against the South African strain of coronavirus.
Mr Shapps said the introduction of a mandatory testing and approval system for travelers coming to the UK has become "much more urgent" as the variant threatens the UK's mass vaccination program.
However, there was confusion over the timing of his comments, which came just hours after a study by Pfizer / BioNTech that their vaccine might be as effective against a mutation in the communicable strain.
Amid international fears about the South African contamination, which is said to be at least 60 percent more contagious than regular Covid, the UK has mandated travelers to take negative tests upon arrival in the country.
Mr Shapps told Sky News, 'This is an additional review and we are doing this now because there are these variants that we would very much like to keep out of the country, such as the South African variant.
& # 39; There are concerns about the South African, especially the effectiveness of the vaccine against it, so we just can't take any chances. Because of this variant, it has become much more urgent today. & # 39;
The Pfizer study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, tested how well the vaccine worked on the key mutation N501Y, a change in the virus’s spike protein that is believed to be far more contagious than regular Covid.
And as current vaccines train the immune system to recognize and attack the virus’s spike protein, there have been concerns that this change could render shocks unusable or less effective.
The results showed that neutralizing antibodies were produced against the mutation also found in the highly infectious Kent variant, which is rapidly spreading across the UK. However, both strains contain a catalog of mutations, and researchers have yet to prove that the vaccine will work against them all.
Professor Parker, who is also an expert on public health at the University of Oxford, warned NHS staff that they should be tasked with getting the sting.
Telling a Royal Society of Medicine virtual briefing about vaccine reluctance, The Telegraph reports, "There's a strong case that health care workers working with vulnerable groups (should get the vaccine) have a strong case for coercion are."
But he added the move was "complicated" because the NHS was "under a very heavy burden".
"The last thing we want is a lot of people who leave because they don't want a vaccination," he said. "Let's be realistic."
He also said it should be a disciplinary offense for doctors and nurses to try to keep the public off the vaccine, and mentioned a situation where a nurse tried to encourage him not to take a bump.
At the Downing Street press conference yesterday, Brigadier Phil Prosser, the Army officer and Iraq veteran responsible for accelerating Britain's sluggish vaccination program, insisted that the military use "battlefield techniques" to advance the roll-out, and added: "My team are used to creating complexity and building supply chains quickly under the most difficult and challenging conditions."
Defense Department chiefs have been directed to work out the plans to meet the prime minister's lofty goal of vaccinating all over 70s, residents and nursing home workers, NHS frontline workers and extremely vulnerable adults of all ages to avoid the endless End cycle of closures by mid-February.
Considered the largest vaccination campaign in British history, the NHS operation will involve more than 100 soldiers next week with nearly 1,500 reserve troops on standby. Up to seven mass vaccination centers are to be opened in England to support the roll-out. These will be set up in sports stadiums and in the London ExCeL center.
So far, the UK vaccination program has been plagued by delivery and staff shortages, logistical problems and bureaucratic obstacles that have stifled its expansion.
Very ambitious claims about the government's vaccination program will be cause for concern in some corners after failing to deliver on the promises of its swab testing program.
Matt Hancock had promised the program would complete 100,000 tests a day by early May – and claimed at that point – but it was later found that the Department of Health had published and counted tens of thousands and that the number would never be until three weeks later, on May 21, six digits.
And Boris Johnson promised in the summer that NHS Test and Trace would be scaled so that anyone who attended a large test center would get their results within 24 hours, but that goal was never met.
The lack of the vaccine brand could have far worse consequences as the UK is stuck until the most vulnerable can be vaccinated.
Mr Johnson's mammoth jab pledge – which critics fear he can't deliver because it's too ambitious – came after the UK recorded 1,162 Covid deaths yesterday on the second worst day of the pandemic. Health Department data shows that only April 21 had a worse death toll than today, when 1,224 victims were reported.
Experts fear the daily number of Covid deaths could continue to rise due to the rising number of infections in the community. But in a slight glimmer of hope, cases down from last week as health bosses recorded 52,618 infections – a 6 percent decrease from the same period last year.
Mark the numbers For the tenth day in a row, the UK has recorded more than 50,000 new infections as the virus continues to spread across the country.
It takes at least two weeks for someone infected with the virus to develop symptoms bad enough to be hospitalized and sadly eventually die of the disease, which means deaths are likely at a later date will increase.
People in their twenties now have the highest rate of coronavirus infection in England, with 0.8 percent of the infected population.
Public Health England figures show that young adults – between the ages of 20 and 39 and to a lesser extent those in their forties – are the most affected groups, but the number of cases is increasing in every age group.
For the week ending January 3, there were 843 positive tests per 100,000 people in 20–29 year olds, compared to 813 per 100,000 in people in their 30s.
The numbers rose 40 percent and 31 percent, respectively, with the 20s age group overtaking the 30s as the one with the highest rate.
The rate for people in their forties was 738 per 100,000, the third worst and a quarter a week.
Some of the lowest infection rates were in children, from 194 in children under five to 435 in teenagers, but they still rose despite the school holidays.
CARE HOME EMPLOYEES WITH COVID MUST STAY AT WORK due to STAFF
Nursing home staff have been instructed to go to work despite testing positive for coronavirus. This came out today in an alarming new report.
In the past 14 days, inspectors have reported more than a dozen nursing homes about infection control problems.
The Care Quality Commission has reportedly warned at least 14 households of deficiencies, including urging workers with Covid to work due to staff shortages, the Guardian reported.
This is because the NHS plans to command replacement care beds across the country to ease pressure on hospitals where wards fill with Covid patients as the crisis escalates.
National Care Association chair Nadra Ahmed told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “There is no way providers can go back to April, when we were told everything was fine and people were being discharged from hospitals . Of course we want to help the NHS if we can, but we sure have to do that.
"The only way that can be done safely is when we are absolutely clear that the person is no longer shedding the virus and is bringing it into the nursing service."
NHS bosses say they are running out of beds due to rising virus intake and urgently need to outsource patients to the care sector.
Chris Hopson, head of the NHS Providers health union, said yesterday that some hospitals are already almost full and are looking for beds elsewhere for their patients.
However, Ms. Ahmed warned that many nursing home providers are working with their regular insurance – meaning that if they admit a Covid-positive patient, it would invalidate their insurance.
Activists warn that this could lead to a repeat of last spring's “disaster” when infectious patients were sent to nursing homes and tens of thousands died.
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