Shielding Emsworth mum on chemotherapy medication forced to make three-hour round trip for Covid-19 vaccine

A MOTHER of three who has been shielding since March had to take a three-hour round trip for a Covid-19 vaccine – despite living just up the road from a vaccination centre.
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Emma Littlehales from Emsworth had a phone call on Wednesday informing her that she was eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination.

But instead of taking a five-minute walk from her home to Emsworth Baptist Church – where vaccines are being handed out to locals – she was told to go to Hayling Health Centre instead.

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The 25-year-old said: ‘The phone call felt very last-minute and I have three children who currently aren’t at school, but they said if I can’t go then there’s no alternative option.

Emma Littlehales, 25, from Emsworth had to make a three-hour round trip for a Covid-19 jab. Picture: SuppliedEmma Littlehales, 25, from Emsworth had to make a three-hour round trip for a Covid-19 jab. Picture: Supplied
Emma Littlehales, 25, from Emsworth had to make a three-hour round trip for a Covid-19 jab. Picture: Supplied
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‘I was able to get someone to look after the kids but to get to Hayling, I had to catch two buses each way, so I was out for around three hours in total.

‘Considering that the government doesn’t want people going out and there's a vaccination centre so close to me, it doesn’t make much sense.’

Emma, a self-employed candlemaker, will now have to wait around 12 weeks for the second jab.

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The News has been campaigning for pharmacies to provide Covid-19 vaccinations, with the goal of having vaccination centres within 10 minutes of where you live, rather than 10 miles.

The Shot in the Arm campaign, which has more than 80,000 signatures, has the support of political heavyweights like Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer, and former prime minister Tony Blair.

Emma is hopeful that the second vaccination will be a bit closer to home.

‘I haven’t been out since before Christmas, so wasn’t too happy about having to get on buses and travel so far,’ she said.

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‘We need to have more places for people to be vaccinated because people are being sent all over the place.

‘I have friends in Havant that got sent to Waterlooville and others have even had to travel to Queen Alexandra Hospital.’

Emma has been shielding since March last year, due to taking chemotherapy drugs that weaken her immune system.

She says it’s been tough as she’s ‘quite a social person’ but is optimistic that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

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‘But if I had nobody to watch my kids, I would have been stuffed,’ she added.

NHS advice on vaccinations states: ‘The NHS will contact you when it's your turn to have the coronavirus vaccination.

‘The vaccine is being offered at larger vaccination centres, pharmacies and some local NHS services such as hospitals or GP surgeries.’

The advice adds: ‘You can choose to go to a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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