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People wait in five-hour long queues to get booster jabs

Long queues have been seen outside vaccination sites across the nation.

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People queuing for booster jabs at St Thomas’ Hospital, London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

People queuing for booster jabs at St Thomas’ Hospital, London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

People queuing for booster jabs at St Thomas’ Hospital, London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

People around the country have been waiting as long as five hours to receive their booster jabs.

Long queues were seen outside vaccination sites on Monday, as Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government will “throw everything at” the Covid booster programme to tackle the Omicron variant.

A lengthy queue developed at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London, just across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament, after the PM brought forward the target of offering a Covid-19 booster jab to every adult by a month.

The target had previously been the end of January, but that has been brought forward to the end of December.

Staff at St Thomas’ told people queues of up to five hours were expected.

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A lengthy queue developed on Monday (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

A lengthy queue developed on Monday (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

PA

A lengthy queue developed on Monday (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Jeremy Doughty, 38, an international educator, told the PA news agency: “I know that the queue is five hours long, but I’m quite interested in getting my booster jab just because I’ll be doing some travelling during the holiday season.

“I’m originally from the United States and I’m planning to go back on the 22nd and I’ll just feel more confident if I have the booster jab.”

He added: “I do have a concern about the Omicron variant, I work with international undergraduate students who come to the United Kingdom and I know they have a fear as well.

“Many of them won’t be able to get their booster jabs until they return to the United States.

“So I’m making the choice to come today, stand in the queue for five hours to get my jab, just because of my level of anxiety.”

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Sajid Javid said the Government will ‘throw everything at’ the Covid booster programme (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Sajid Javid said the Government will ‘throw everything at’ the Covid booster programme (Gareth Fuller/PA)

PA

Sajid Javid said the Government will ‘throw everything at’ the Covid booster programme (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Full-time student Parina Haresh Mehta, 24, said: “Especially with the new variant it makes more sense for people our age, especially because we’re at uni and we’re going to work and going to pubs and stuff, it just makes life easier for us and people around us.”

She went on to say: “It just means that it’s going to be easier for us to go on about with our lives.

“Covid has been around since 2019 and 2020, it’s been way too long for us to not go about work and school.

“So it’s really good that they’ve taken the initiative to allow us to come and walk in and I know it’s five hours, it seems a lot, but if that means we can go home, visit our families and make the most of school, it’s worth it.”

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People queuing for booster jabs at St Thomas’ Hospital, London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

People queuing for booster jabs at St Thomas’ Hospital, London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

PA

People queuing for booster jabs at St Thomas’ Hospital, London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

There were also long queues of people waiting to receive jabs at the vaccination centre at Haynes Motor Museum, near Yeovil in Somerset.

Staff estimated there were waiting times of around 45 minutes.

One woman, who had booked to receive her booster jab but asked not to be named, said: “I’m happy we can get booked in and want to do the right thing by getting it as quickly as possible.

“But it’s not great when you are still queuing more than half an hour after your appointment time and don’t know how much longer it will take, especially when I tried to do it in my lunch break because I couldn’t find any appointments available out of work hours.”

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