Confusion has surrounded the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in Oxford amid cancelled appointments and a wrongly shared link which let people book a jab at the city’s hospital hub.

Family doctors began administering the Pfizer vaccine yesterday at three GP-led sites in Oxfordshire – Abingdon, Chipping Norton and Henley.

But in Oxford planned appointments for elderly residents at Cherwell School on Saturday have been cancelled. A woman contacted the Oxford Mail to say her 84-year-old father was booked in but had now been called to say it would not go ahead.

ALSO READ: Bake Off's Prue Leith among first in county to get jab

An online update by the man's surgery, 19 Beaumont Street, said it along with partner practices Summertown Health Centre and Banbury Road Medical Centre would not be able to go ahead with appointments as the ‘expected vaccine delivery has been cancelled’.

Though not confirmed by the NHS, it is understood vaccinations will take place however at Barton Community Centre on Friday after this also appeared to have been cancelled at the weekend. Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group was contacted for more information but was unable to respond before the paper went to print.

It also comes as people who booked a Covid vaccine through a shared link have been asked to cancel their appointment unless they are in a priority group.

The Churchill Hospital is one of 50 hubs which became the first in the UK last week to offer the Pfizer jab.

ALSO READ: Walk-through Covid test site opens in Oxfordshire

Patients aged over 80, as well as frontline NHS and social care staff were among the initial people able to get vaccinated.

Despite not being contacted or in a priority group, a 32-year-old, who only wanted to be identified as Max, said he had booked an appointment at the Churchill after having a link shared with him by a friend. 

He said: “I was suspicious but thought that maybe due to the difficulty of getting the vaccine around the country they wanted to see what demand was from different age groups etc so I booked an appointment. Immediately I got a text confirming my appointment.”

He added: “I have since heard from my friend that apparently it’s a scam and the Churchill have been inundated with calls asking them to confirm appointments.”

ALSO READ: Could Oxfordshire move to Tier 3?

When contacted, however, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Churchill, said a real booking link had been shared incorrectly.

David Walliker, chief digital officer at the trust said: “I’m really pleased that so many people are keen to get their vaccination. However, we became aware over the weekend that a link to our booking system was being circulated when it should not have been, and we have since removed the links.”

He said on Monday the trust sent out a message to ‘a number of people’ asking them to cancel their appointment unless they were in the priority groups.

These are; anyone over 80 years old, a resident or worker in a care home, a care worker, or an NHS worker who are in a high-risk clinically vulnerable group.

Mr Walliker added: “We have also changed the links so they no longer work. Patients will be contacted directly and invited for vaccination when appropriate.”

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or 01865 425 445.