RESIDENTS have raised concerns about possible delays in receiving their second doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Several people in Hyndburn say they have faced longer waits than the initially stated 12 weeks for their second jab.

This comes in the week that the borough was revealed to have recorded England's second highest increase in cases.

Eddie Getty, 58, who is classed as vulnerable due to his health conditions, said: "I was due to have it this week but now it's been delayed, at the end of the day they should have planned this much earlier.

"It's just a bit worrying really, and there must be people more vulnerable than me who are worrying."

Fortunately he has since been contacted by his local surgery who have invited him to receive the second jab, however this still slightly goes over the 12-week window.

Vivienne Preston, from Accrington, said that she too has become aware of cases where people have had to wait up to 14 weeks for their second injection, including her partner who is vulnerable due to her blood condition neutropenia leaving her with no immune system and zero tolerance to infection. She said: "We feel very let down and disappointed that this is happening and not just for ourselves, there are clearly many others affected similarly.

"In particular those that were elderly and clinically vulnerable and were given their first vaccine in early February, who may be the least likely and less able to speak up about it and also least able to take any consequences of the late vaccination.

"Is this becoming a postcode lottery? I will not dispute that everyone involved in the vaccination roll-out is doing an excellent job, however, clearly something is wrong.

"I understand the second vaccination supply is ring-fenced, if that means there is enough for those that need it then what is the problem?"

Ms Preston has said that her local GP surgery have told her that they cannot get supplies any sooner as they are controlled centrally.

She said: "It will be interesting if someone can provide evidence that two whole weeks, or possibly more, over the NHS guidelines will not compromise the effectiveness, and what happens if the supply does not arrive?"

Ms Preston has also received word since on when her partner's second dose is likely to be administered, however she remains concerned about other people possibly in similar situations.

Vaccination director for Lancashire and South Cumbria Jane Scattergrood tried to allay people's fears.

She said: “The NHS are doing everything they can to make sure people receive vaccinations promptly.

"Second dose vaccine supplies have been ringfenced to ensure there is enough for everyone who has already received their first dose.

"If your appointment for your second dose is a little later than the 12-week period, there is no evidence that this affects the effectiveness of the vaccine.

“If you booked your first dose through the National Booking System, you can book your second dose or manage your appointments online or by calling 119.

"If you had your first vaccination through your GP practice, they will contact you to book your second dose when it’s your time.

"If it is week 11 and you are concerned that you have not been invited for your second dose yet contact your GP practice.”