Gransnet forums


Have you had to travel for your vaccination?

(138 Posts)
Willow500 Wed 10-Mar-21 07:43:34

Just that really.

We are 67 and received the letter several weeks ago inviting us for the vaccine but if we ignored the letter we would be contacted by the GP. We opted for the latter but nearly 3 weeks later when everyone we know apart from one friend had been done locally and we had heard nothing I rang our surgery to be told 'it would be a while yet'. We felt that we had no option but to travel to the nearest centre which for us is 30 miles away - we are going tomorrow.

Don't get me wrong - I'm very grateful that we are able to have the vaccine at all and this country is doing an amazing job but can't help wondering how many of the over 65's have had the same experience. Our local paper recently had a list of the groups - the over 65's was the only one which said 'may be asked to visit a centre'. We are lucky we have transport and are able to travel (presumably we are allowed in the lockdown hmm ) but there must be others who are unable to do this and are still waiting.

rowanflower0 Wed 10-Mar-21 10:47:19

Local GP did mine 4 weeks ago - I am 68. (North Warwickshire), though I know Tamworth, about a mile up the road is about 3 weeks behind this. I t varies from area to area.

mrswoo Wed 10-Mar-21 10:47:36

My GPs surgery sent a text advising that they were not involved in giving the vaccine and not to contact them but to wait for the letter from the NHS and to book online. When my letter arrived I couldn't get anything locally although we have 3 large vaccination centres nearby. I was offered 2 options both a fair distance away - eventually after logging onto the website several times I was able to book a place at a Nightingale hospital about 10 miles away which I felt was a reasonable distance and I was very happy to travel there. Ironically, DH got his letter 2 weeks ago, logged onto the website, and got a local entre straight away.

SueLindsey Wed 10-Mar-21 10:49:01

There seems to be an assumption by the people organising the immunisations that everyone has access to a car. I am extremely fortunate that a chemist 45 mins. walk away from my house was offering jabs as I dont know what I would have done otherwise. I wonder how many other people are in this position and arn't as lucky as me.

moobox Wed 10-Mar-21 10:50:38

Yes, the far North East seem to be getting very few vaccine deliveries, and when they do it will be prioritising the second one for the over 80s. That is putting pressure on the hubs further south, so people are struggling to get appointments since it was opened up to 60-64, and subsequently younger. We happily travelled to the city for ours, with designated free parking, but that was over a week ago, and people are reporting difficulties in booking now. I think it is ok to be expected to travel if you are young and fit enough. Public transport should be safe in most regions too, as there is never anyone on it.

Lizzies Wed 10-Mar-21 10:50:46

We have 2 hubs near us. One just down the road at the showground and the other a little further away at the next town’s racecourse. When I went online neither of them were offered and I had to go to Leeds to an hotel where a pharmacy group had set up a centre. I was a bit worried because I don’t like driving somewhere in the city, but I found it ok using my satnav and they were very well organised with good parking.

NemosMum Wed 10-Mar-21 10:52:49

I'm 69. Had mine on 10 Feb. My GPs rang me and said they'd made an appointment for me at the local racecourse 3 miles away. They offered transport, if required (I didn't). All very well organised and jolly at the racecourse. GP will contact me again for 2nd. jab. Very happy!

Nashville Wed 10-Mar-21 10:53:41

Had mine via nhs website booking system smack bang in the city centre about 20 miles away. In normal times I would not have driven there as it is so busy but parking easy and little traffic as everything shut. Arrived early, went in early and out within 30 minutes. Astra Zeneca. I have been given my second appointment date and booked at the same place. I noticed the local buses were advertising special services to the centre to aid city dwellers.

The surgery organised my husband’s jab at the local racecourse - much closer and easier to get to and he has his second appointment too at the same place. All very different nationally as my SIL just walked 300 yards to her local surgery but doesn’t have a second appointment booked. Another SIL lives in a sheltered housing complex and shared a taxi with 3 others to travel 10 miles to the next big town for hers.

I could understand the need to travel to a hub when vaccine storage was problematic but now I don’t see a why they cant set up in more local community centres and sweep up all the local unvaccinated like Mrs Eggy describes.

Dee1012 Wed 10-Mar-21 10:56:49

I'm in the North Tyneside area of the N East and there doesn't appear to be any issues locally.
The centre I visited (3 weeks ago) was in a really good location with car parking and decent public transport links.
All well organised with dates given for the 2nd dose then.

A friend in the Scottish borders is really struggling though, they don't drive and the nearest involves a trip of around 50 miles (return), public transport isn't great either.

Aepgirl Wed 10-Mar-21 10:57:43

I had mine in January at the church next door to my surgery - within walking distance.

inishowen Wed 10-Mar-21 10:59:43

My husband and I travelled about 20 miles for ours. Cant understand why anyone would object to this.

Redhead56 Wed 10-Mar-21 10:59:56

We walked to our village hall ten mins away but our friends who live around the corner had to travel four miles away. I don't think it's acceptable having to travel considering we are supposed to stay local.

Natasha76 Wed 10-Mar-21 11:01:23

I had my vaccine in our public hall where 3 of our gp surgeries had set up a hub, but I wasn't able to book a 2nd jab date which I understand is common to a lot of GP hubs. I drove my husband 14 miles to a large centre because our hall appears to only have enough vaccine to work once a week and we got fed up with waiting for his call. The large centre gave him a date for his 2nd at the same time. I have now booked my 2nd on line at this large centre so now I have the certainty of a date. Most of my friends are also travelling to be vaccinated, so we are probably driving to one of the places that our town vaccine has been diverted to.
If you have a local place doing the jabs I do think we should be prepared to travel to get the vaccine and save the local appointments for those who can't.

Yellowmellow Wed 10-Mar-21 11:03:30

I had my jab beginning of Feb as lm a keyword. Myself and my colleagues would have gone anywhere and anytime of the night (some of my colleagues have been vaccinated late in the evening because places have had vaccine left.) We are talking a potentially lethal virus. I'd definitely travelled 30 miles instead of wait . You will probably have to wait until the GP surgery has a supply of vaccine .

Cheryl1959 Wed 10-Mar-21 11:03:52

We travelled as due to uncertainty of how many vaccine doses GP support hubs receive on a week to week basis would have been a long wait when we got our letters. Though credit to GP surgeries they are working their socks off. When our turn came Choices were Kendal 58 miles & Ulverston 85miles Lancaster 72 miles - There was no choice North Cumbria except GP hub however choice is going to finally expanded to Penrith major hub ( 33miles) & pharmacy in Carlisle. A bit late for us , we didn’t mind the travel & our very grateful but it seems a bit silly to be travelling outside the local area when advise is to stay in local area& Health minister said that availability for travel was no more than 10miles for vaccination. Oops

GreenGran78 Wed 10-Mar-21 11:04:14

I received an appointment from my GP, and also a letter inviting me to make one online. I had mine some weeks ago at the sports hall of our local football club. I’m 81. As I can drive, and it’s only 6 miles away I had no access problem. However it would have meant a bus ride and quite a long walk otherwise. Quite a trek, or impossible, for anyone not too mobile.
My GP is supposed to be informing me when my second jab is due.

Yellowmellow Wed 10-Mar-21 11:04:21


henetha Wed 10-Mar-21 11:06:00

I only had to drive five miles into town and it was all very well organised, from the car-parking to the jab itself.
I was thankful to get the jab and didn't mind travelling.

Shandy57 Wed 10-Mar-21 11:06:19

I've been offered a 38 mile journey for mine, I'm going to wait for my gp. I don't want to travel.

H1954 Wed 10-Mar-21 11:09:05

I volunteer at a nearby hub. On chatting to patients recently several mentioned that they had travelled between 30 to 40 miles for their vaccinations. No one seemed phased or concerned and many admitted that "it did the car good to have a good run out"!
Not heard any complaints from anyone either.

Yammy Wed 10-Mar-21 11:10:02

We are 70+ and got a generic letter from the government offering vaccination Hubs or we were told we could ignore and wait for the G.P.
60 miles round journey is a long way depending on where you live. We were contacted during the snow last month and would have had to travel on roads that were blocked or being advised to avoid on the T.V. The places offered ranged from Blackburn Catherdral in the north-west to Billingham and Newcastle in the Northeast two of which we had never visited in our life. All would have entailed round rips of over 80 miles+ Ridiculous when you consider you are asked to sit 15 mins after the jab to make sure you are alright.
We sat tight and heard from our own surgery's small hub the next week, were given an appointment about 6 days ahead both together and when we got there just before our time about three in front of us and in and out in ten mins and a 15 min sit in the car afterwards. We will almost certainly be doing the same for the second. There are as yet no hubs near us.

Pittcity Wed 10-Mar-21 11:10:38

We booked for our local football stadium, a 10 minute drive, and are going on Saturday.
I received a text from my surgery yesterday and could've booked there for next Tuesday. Decided to stay with the Saturday appointment as both were convenient. I am not quite 60 and happy to be getting the vaccine.
It's logic really that the bigger venues have more capacity and so can get through more people. Why not travel if you can and leave the local appointments for those who can't travel?

Nannan2 Wed 10-Mar-21 11:14:24

Our drs were straight on it, though they have nothing much else to do tbh, as they never fully opened up when it was said they 'should'- it is all being done from the tiny health clinic behind the gp surgery, with 2 marquees behind for when they've jabbed you. Its all 3 minutes walk away.(or 10 in my case, due to osteoarthritis)😄

fitwell Wed 10-Mar-21 11:16:28

Mine was a 10 minute round trip very quick

Rosina Wed 10-Mar-21 11:18:44

We had our jabs at a surgery in town - not ours, but the same practice. Family living in a village very close to our rural market town were booked to travel to the nearest vaccine centre, fifteen miles away. Their appointments were cancelled due to snow, and in the next few days a local chemist started vaccines and they were able to go there - four miles from their home. A sixty mile round trip does sound a bit of a challenge - but I would do it for the sense of relief to get a vaccine.

Whiff Wed 10-Mar-21 11:22:05

Had mine today at a pharmacy 15 mins away. Very well organised. Made me laugh when I read the information sheet it was manufactured not far from where I live.