Elderly Fifers 'frozen to the bone' in huge queues outside COVID vaccine centres

Elderly Fifers are being left “frozen to the bone” having to stand in the freezing cold for an hour or more before getting their COVID vaccinations, it has been claimed.

Huge queues have been reported in four different towns, leading to calls for NHS Fife to take immediate action.

Alex Rowley MSP has branded the delays “outrageous” and raised them after directly with Tricia Marwick, who chairs NHS Fife’s board.

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Reports of long delays have emerged at centres in Kirkcaldy, Levenmouth, Glenrothes and Lochgelly as hundreds of elderly people turned up for their vaccination appointments.

The long queue outside the vaccine centre in Templehall, Kirkcaldy (Pic: Karen Anderson)The long queue outside the vaccine centre in Templehall, Kirkcaldy (Pic: Karen Anderson)
The long queue outside the vaccine centre in Templehall, Kirkcaldy (Pic: Karen Anderson)

One man who went to Templehall Community Centre in Kirkcaldy said the queue snaked around the building and into the car park.

He estimated some 200 people were left standing still as they waited outside

He described the long wait as “a shambles” and left to return home and make an alternative appointment via the hotline.

That picture was echoed in reports direct to Mr Rowley of lengthy waits in Fife’s other main towns.

He hit out: “The idea of having people in their 70s waiting this long in such cold weather is incredible.

“I know there were issues this morning of flooded roads delaying the vaccines deliveries, but I am also hearing about double bookings.”

Mr Rowley, Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said everyone who had been in contact with him had nothing but praise for staff at the centres, but were left cold and angry at the long wait to get in.

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“NHS Fife must get its act together,” he said. “I have talked directly with Tricia Marwick and said we are fully behind everything it is doing, but this situation is unacceptable.

“You cannot treat people like this. It is minus one right now – if our parents were being told to queue this long we would say it is criminal.

People are stressed at going for vaccines - and now they are frozen to the bone waiting.”

Mr Rowley said he had been assured NHS Fife is now in talks with officers to come up with a solution.

NHS Fife has been approached for comment.

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