ELDERLY people in Winchester were left in the dark after they arrived to receive their Covid jab only to find the vaccination centre closed.

Rodney Graham’s mother Audrey, aged 81, was told to turn up at the Holiday Inn, Telegraph Way, in Winchester, on Tuesday, but when she, like many others, got the hotel they were met with signs reading “closed”.

Mr Graham said that there were no volunteers or members of staff present to explain the situation to those who had arrived.

He told the Chronicle: “She got to the front door of the Holiday Inn and they were locked and signage on the front door said it was closed.”

He continued: “My mother having been through this whole thing of shielding for 10 months was somewhat surprised and disappointed about the whole thing.

“Frankly it is just a bit of a farce.”

Mrs Graham was given her first vaccination in December and was not contacted to say that the centre would not be open for her second jab this week.

She later contacted her GP who has now advised her that her second vaccination has been delayed.

Her son said: “I am extremely disappointed for her; all it does is extend the burden on people who are looking after her.”

Mr Graham added: “We have got a situation where all these promises being made by a government and I don’t see them necessarily keeping to them.”

Earlier this month the government said that there would be a delay in giving the second dose of Covid-19 vaccines.

Experts advising the government, including the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said that the focus should be on giving at-risk people the first dose of whichever vaccine they receive, rather than providing the required two doses in as short a time as possible.

This now means the second dose of both the Oxford/AstraZeneca and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines will be within 12 weeks of the first.

Rachael King, director of commissioning (south west) for NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The Covid-19 vaccination programme is one of the largest programmes ever undertaken by the NHS, and frontline teams and support staff are working hard to protect people and save lives, as quickly as possible.

“Getting this right, at pace, involves a huge amount of co-ordination both nationally and locally and sometimes plans have to change, at short notice.

“Regrettably, we are aware that there were problems contacting all of the people attending a clinic at Winchester Holiday Inn this week, and some people were inconvenienced as a result.

“We apologise unreservedly to anyone affected.”