DOZENS of patients at a surgery in Oxford have had their second Covid-19 vaccine delayed by weeks.

There are now serious concerns over a hold-up of second doses of the Pfizer jab at the Botley Medical Centre and other GP sites in Oxfordshire.

This has left a number of residents distressed and worried about their health.

One 78-year-old patient of the Botley surgery, who asked to remain anonymous, was forced to phone the centre several times a week after he did not get a call about his second Pfizer dose.

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Pfizer vaccines are being issued nationwide, with people receiving two jabs to ensure long-lasting immunity from Covid-19.

However Jacquie Pearce-Gervis, chairman of Patient Voice Oxford, said that she had been contacted by several people still waiting on their second appointment.

She commented: "Why are approximately 40 people in the Botley area being discriminated against by not being offered their second Pfizer jabs?

"It is now 15 weeks since they received their first ones.

"Pfizer originally recommended that the second should be given after six weeks, this was extended to 12 weeks by the Government, now 15 and ongoing.

"Patients are entitled to be given an explanation for.

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"Most are in their 70s, have been constantly told they are vulnerable, and are understandably anxious about the delay.

"When they ring the Botley GP practice the staff there, who are unfailingly polite, apologise and say they cannot give a reason for the delay and are in the hands of the Government."

Dr Manpreet Ahluwalia, clinical lead for vaccinations rollout at the Botley Medical Centre, confirmed that there are patients who have not received their second dose on time.

In fact, she revealed that many surgeries have faced the same problem and the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which looks after vaccinations in the county, is aware of this.

Explaining the reasons behind the problem, she said: "We are sorry that some of our patients have missed their second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

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"We phoned the patients individually to book them in when the vaccine was expected to arrive to our local vaccination site at Kennington Health Centre.

"We contacted 1,200 patients this time, mirroring their first dose bookings.

"Unfortunately, not all of them were reachable or answered the phones despite several attempts.

"We only have 120 hours to use our Pfizer doses once it arrives and around 40 of those patients did not respond and missed the offer.

"Hence, we then managed to fit in some of those patients to other surgeries in the Oxford area, via our PCN, and the OCCG."

Dr Ahluwalia said OCCG is currently holding a list for those patients and is working to accommodate all of them wherever possible.