Husband struggling to get Covid booster jab for housebound wife feels there's no ‘plan' for vulnerable at home

A man who has been trying to get his housebound wife a Covid booster jab for months has told i he feels there is no plan to vaccinate vulnerable patients who can’t leave their homes.

Steve Jones’s wife, Dawn, 64, has a degenerative condition and is unable to walk, leaving her not only housebound but bedbound, too.

She was vaccinated back in April when she was receiving treatment for her condition at a rehabilitation facility but has not yet had her booster dose, despite being due to have the top up jab in October.

Mr Jones, 59, who lives in Coventry, said he has called the couple’s GP surgery numerous times but they’ve been unable to help.

“At the end of October I contacted the GP because she was overdue a booster jab and they hadn’t contacted us in that time. [I] asked when that was likely to happen and they said, ‘Well, we don’t know what we’re doing at the moment’.”

He was told that his wife was one of a number of patients on the surgery’s list and he would be informed of the procedure for home visit vaccinations once the GP had put it into place.

Husband struggling to get Covid booster jab for housebound wife feels there’s no ‘plan’ for vulnerable at home
© Provided by The i Steve Jones is keen to arrange a Covid vaccination home visit for his wife, Dawn, who is housebound and vulnerable

Despite ringing five times since, including yesterday morning, Mr Jones feels no clearer or closer to getting his wife the additional protection she needs.

“She has carers coming in four times a day. Although they wear masks and things like this, there are people coming in… and some of those carers may be asymptomatic. She’s vulnerable to catching the virus that way, we just don’t know. That’s where my concern is.”

Mr Jones, who has had two doses of the Covid vaccine and is due to get his booster jab this week, said his wife and others in a similar position feel they have been pushed down the pecking order.

“To me, they should be the ones that are closer to the top because they are a little bit more vulnerable. I think my wife falls into that category,” he said.

“That’s the reason why I’ve been constantly contacting the GP because obviously I’m concerned that she is more vulnerable than than some people.”

He added: “We don’t know what the effect of this new variant is going to be. It’s supposed to be more transmissible, we just don’t know at the moment, so obviously that’s another concern as well.”

Mr Jones said he is considering raising a complaint against his GP surgery if things don’t improve.

Louise Rubin, head of policy and campaigns at disability equality charity Scope, said: “It’s unacceptable that disabled people who are most at risk from Covid have once again been forgotten by the Government.

“The Government has repeatedly urged people to come forward and get their boosters, but they have failed to make sure those most at risk can get vaccinated at home.”

On Monday, The Telegraph reported that 300,000 housebound Britons are yet to get a Covid booster jab.

In some cases, relatives desperate to get their housebound loved ones the top up jab have made the challenging journey to a vaccination site.

But this isn’t a viable option for Mrs Jones.

Mr Jones said: “There would have to be private ambulance transport to enable us to do that.

“If that was the only way then she would have to do that. Obviously that would be quite a stressful experience for her.”

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “With concern about the Omicron variant growing, it’s imperative that every vulnerable older person receives their booster jab as soon as humanly possible. This must include those who are housebound or living in care homes.”

An NHS spokesperson said: “Local NHS and GP teams are contacting their eligible housebound patients, and we are working closely with St John’s Ambulance to give local areas additional support.

“We are also providing additional funding to help local teams secure additional staff so that all eligible housebound patients are offered a booster as quickly and safely as possible.”

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