A CONCERNED carer has called on health bosses to vaccinate elderly people in their own homes to prevent them from having to queue outside in the freezing cold.

Helen Jefferies lives in Frinton-on-Sea where she now works as a private carer for a 96-year-old woman.

The pair visited St Helena Hospice’s Tendring Centre, in Jackson Road, Clacton, where NHS workers are rolling-out the coronavirus vaccine on behalf of the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.

Following the visit, the vulnerable friend Helen looks after left with a degree of protection from the deadly effects of Covid-19, having received her first jab.

But Helen was left disappointed with the lack of facilities in place to protect the elderly patients from the winter elements while they waited.

Braintree and Witham Times:

She said: “The weather was awful, torrential rain, so a small tent had been put up where there were 15 odd people huddled together taking shelter.

“There was no social distancing, but I had no choice other than to sit my 96-year-old in the tent as she could not stand in the rain.

“I’m not criticising anybody as it’s almost impossible to cover a socially distanced queue and keep them warm and dry.

“But the tent, in my opinion, was a danger and I felt sorry for the all the oldies having to endure the cold and the rain while waiting. They were half an hour behind.”

Inside the vaccine centre, however, the carer said social distancing was being adhered to.

But due to the added risks of visiting a vaccination centre alongside many other people, Helen believes the more vulnerable residents should be vaccinated at home.

“I think the older people should be done at home really, especially if they are housebound.

“It was sad to see couples going in holding each other up or in wheelchairs, it seemed more unsafe to bring them out into that scenario,” Helen added

“We survived, but I would advise anyone due to go to wrap up and take a flask.”

Despite her concerns, Helen is full of nothing but praise for vaccine centre’s nurses and volunteers.

She said: “The staff were amazing, and they were also lovely, helpful, and cheerful.”

A spokesman from the CCG said: “It’s really pleasing the vaccine rollout is now well underway.

“This rollout is an enormous undertaking and we ask people arrive no more than five minutes before their appointment.

“There may be some queuing in order to comply with social distancing requirements.

“We’ll continue to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.”