Due to an NHS administrative balls-up I can't get a Covid booster
Posted on the 13th Feb 2022 in the category sport


During any global emergency there always those unlucky people who died because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

George Frederick Irish got blown to bits during the Battle of the Somme, but he wasn't even supposed to be there, his uncle forgot to fill the exempt service form which would have kept him in Redditch during the Great War.
Then there was the English soldier who misplaced his mask as the first German mustard gas attack began, his lungs boiled from the inside out. And the Frenchman who forgot his identity papers and was stopped in a Nazi stopcheck, because he was circumcised he was mistakenly branded Jewish and packed off to a concentration camp never to be seen again.

I've been thinking about these George a lot recently. And how events out of your control can consign you to history. I visited Thievpal, the giant memorial for the 73, 367 lost Battle of the Somme soldiers whose bodies never were discovered amid the WW1 carnage and found George's name.
I wrote an article about "the unluckiest soldier in WW1" and still get sad thinking of how being a victim of fatal victim of mistaken circumstance is such a bloody waste of a life. 
I am victim of such circumstance. I cannot get my Covid booster jab because when whoever gave me my first vaccination they did not input the information into "the system".
And as I've found out, it doesn't matter what you say, what proof you have, the advantage to me and society of having my booster, if "the system" says no. Then it seems nothing can be done. 
My friend's girlfriend died of Covid two weeks ago, and I know a few other people who have died from the virus, it is a lottery of life if you survive. But I can't buy a ticket to the lottery and give my creaking body a fighting chance against this rapidly spreading disease because all different people and parts of the NHS will not let me. 
I found out I could not have a booster by chance when I was covering the opening of the new vaccination centre in the Mander Centre, as I was there I asked if I was eligible, and was impressed that even though I don't know my NHS number they found me straight away.
"You've not had your second vaccination so you can't have it."
I replied: "I have."
"Not according to this you haven't."
As it was I was not eligible anyway because it had not been six months since the jab on the system. 
It was disconcerting but not overly worrying because I knew I had a picture of my card showing my jabs, they said I could take that evidence when I got the call.
Since then the situation has worsened considerably, Omicron is spreading faster than any other variant, restrictions have returned and the booster has suddenly become more important. And the death of my friend's girlfriend really brought the danger home.
One Monday morning I woke up to the radio with Boris Johnson's voice explaining: "Your two vaccinations will not be much help now, you have to have a booster now to stay safe." Right, I begged my girlfriend to get her booster and then decided to get mine.
I was relieved there was not much of a queue at Laurel Road football centre where I used to roll back the carefree years in my 20s.
I knew what was coming.
"You've not had your second vaccination."
"Yes, I have, the people at Wolverhampton walk-in centre say the same thing so they told me to bring my card showing I've had two."
I then showed him a picture of the card on the phone. 
"That doesn't count, it needs to be on my system."
"But your colleagues said it would," I replied getting exasperated.
I made him look at the photo which showed where I'd got my jabs and what batch of the Astrazenica vaccine I'd been given.
"Ahh, it was your first jab that was not recorded."
"So, you can see the problem, can I have my booster."
And then he said, and I am paraphrasing because it is exactly what he meant.
"I can't, its more than my job's worth."
Now, meeting jobsworths is part of 21st Century life, normally I come across them in banks, at railway stations and other industries where one person has a bit of power. But not in the NHS where the jobsworth literally holds the power of life and death.
I said: "It is not a case of can't, it is a case of won't, you won't do it, surely its more than your job's worth for me to walk out of here, catch Covid and die. And surely the risk of me walking around without a booster is worse than you correcting a mistake your organisation made."
He said: "I can't do it, phone your GP."
I replied: "I haven't got three days to spare to spend on hold."
He asked me to leave when noticing, even behind my mask, my face was contorting into that "wreck the joint" expression desperate people get. I did leave, and for the next three days I tried to get this mistake rectified.
I phoned my GP, they told me to phone 119. I phoned 119, seven times, and then when someone finally did speak to me, they told me to phone my GP.
I phoned my GP again, they told me to phone 119.
And on, and on.
I still cannot get my booster. 
What annoys me most is I know people who have paid people in the NHS to fix their records so they have a Covid passport. Now, are these NHS employees who are saying people have had their jabs are they also not inputting people like me's real jabs in so the numbers tally up?
Which basically means, I could be another George Frederick Irish because some anti-vaxxer idiot wanted to go to Benidorm?
I still can't get my booster.
And its pissing me off.


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