Fuming man turned away from Covid jab appointment after arriving on bike

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A man said he was left furious after being turned away from his coronavirus jab appointment because he was on a bike.

John Cooper, 61, said his invitation letter did not state on it that the vaccination centre in Carmarthen was a drive-thru, only allowing cars to pass, WalesOnline reports.

On Monday, March 22, Mr Cooper rode his bike from Ammanford to Swansea and caught the train into Carmarthen, riding his bike to the facility before being turned away.

He said: "Why didn't it say in my letter of invitation that this was a drive-thru facility? Of course, then I would have phoned the number given and rearranged the appointment.

"They do say in this letter you can phone up if you have particular needs or if the time isn't convenient for you, but no mention at all of the drive-thru."

Mr Cooper said he was left baffled when bouncers outside the centre then suggested he would be allowed to get his jab if he called a taxi.

He went on: "I was a bit cross and one of the bouncers suggested I should go back out of the entry to the showground and call a taxi and then I could drive back through in a taxi.

"I was just in bewilderment. What is safe about me booking a taxi and then sitting for half an hour with a taxi driver? There was no bending of the rules letting you cycle through, but there was that daft suggestion of booking a taxi, so I made my way back to Swansea.

"Then when I got back home of course I had to call that number on the letter to rearrange my appointment."

Mr Cooper said when he got home, he managed to successfully book his first jab at a walk-thru facility in Llanelli, which he had on Friday, March 26.

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However, he thinks the hassle and journey could have easily been avoided if the information had been clearly presented in the letter.

A spokesman from Hywel Dda University Health Board said: "We are very sorry to read about Mr Cooper's experience at our Carmarthenshire Showground site.

"We have seven mass vaccination sites across Hywel Dda, and for operational efficiency and to provide as many options as possible to access the vaccine, our showground site is managed as a drive-through. All other sites can be accessed on foot.

"All letters for the Covid-19 vaccine programme in Hywel Dda UHB are generated centrally.

"We are looking urgently into ensuring that we do everything we can to make these clearer in terms of local services going forward."

He added: "We do offer transport for anyone requiring this to access our mass vaccination site, and you can access transport to get to and from mass vaccination sites through our Covid enquiries line on 0300 303 8322."

  • Coronavirus
  • Lockdown

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