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Mum of disabled son turned away from vaccine site

Suzanne and Matt Robinson with their 2 children including Zac
Suzanne and Matt Robinson with their 2 children including Zac Image credit:

A Covid-19 vaccination site at Reading’s Madejski Stadium refused parents of a boy with a developmental disorder the jab because their child wasn’t ‘disabled enough’.

Suzanne and Matt Robinson’s 10-year-old son, Zac, has autism but they were told on Monday this did not qualify them to be prioritised for the vaccine.

Mr Robinson from Caversham told Berkshire Live: "It seems like someone there is playing God. The man there told my wife she was the 26th person they have had to turn away.

"We got our letter and my wife booked in for an appointment on Monday. We should be in group six as parent carers and it is critical we have the jab.

"Zac needs full-time care, and if he were to get coronavirus it would be terrible for him. He just would not be able to cope with the medical equipment needed if he had to go to the hospital.

"Also, if one of us got it, there would be no way we could look after him, which makes having the vaccine so important for us.

Mr Robinson, who is yet to be called for his vaccine, continued: "Yet my wife gets a letter, books an appointment and then gets turned away. She's now had to reschedule at a pharmacy in Tilehurst and won't get her jab for another three weeks.

"This is another sign of how little people seem to care for people with learning disabilities."

The family raised their disappointment by phoning the Covid-19 hotline on 119 where they were told they were “absolutely” eligible for the injection.

A similar incident happened to a parent from Whitley, their child had a mild case of autism compared to Zac, but were still called for their jab.

The anonymous dad said "they told us our children weren't disabled enough for us to get our vaccines".

He said: "There must have been 20 people turned away when I was there. I've got the letter and booked my appointment at the stadium for the vaccine.

"My son is 17 and is what they call a 'high-functioning' autistic. He still needs full-time care though.

"It got to my appointment time and I've basically been told that he's not ill enough for me to get my vaccine.

"So there are 20 of us there, who have all been told turned away. All these people have vulnerable children and have made a major effort to get here and then they're turned away.

"I don't know if it's an error, but we need to vaccinate because if we get ill, or our children get ill, it could lead to very serious consequences.

"My appointment has not been rescheduled yet and I really hope we don't end up slipping through the net because of this."

A spokesperson for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are sorry for the distress and inconvenience experienced by Mr and Mrs Robinson and would ask them to make contact so that we can ensure they can be vaccinated, in line with guidance set out on eligibility by the JCVI.”

There is no evidence people are dying from the CAOVID-19 vaccine.