injections being stopped

Recent developments regarding injections being stopped

29 Mar, 2020

The problem of patients being told that they will not be receiving their injections due to the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus has been the sole topic in telephone calls and emails to the society in the past two weeks. We are working hard to help our members in these difficult times. Two weeks ago, the Chairman of the society wrote to the Chief Medical Officers and the relevant Ministers for Health in each of the constituent countries in the UK, pointing out that the injections were not a cosmetic treatment but were required to prevent nerve damage or worse from happening.

There have been some developments in the last few days in relation to this issue.

Public Health Division of the Welsh Government reply

We have received a reply from the Public Health Division of the Welsh Government re-assuring us that stocks of vitamin B12 injections are not affected by the current situation with COVID-19, and that when a patients has made an appointment, an assessment needs to be made on the day to determine whether the patient has any of the symptoms of infection. Where appropriate vitamin B12 will be supplied, but because of the current situation it may be that the interval needs to be extended, bearing in mind that the virus is spreading so quickly and front-line medical staff have to be protected. We have yet to hear from the Health Departments in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

If you do have the symptoms of Covid-19, or are in isolation because you are in a high-risk group, and consequently have to wait for an injection please read the following information: Information for patients whose surgery or health centre has closed or is no longer providing injections due to Covid-19.

Report on how patients can be treated

The second development involves one of our members who is a Pharmacist. She has been commissioned by a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to produce a report on how patients can be treated because of the current health climate. She has contacted this society and we have provided her with much information and put her in touch with our research partners.

Managing Pernicious Anaemia in the time of Corononavirus

Dr. Rietsema has written a short article for doctors where she outlines the problems faced by our members and suggests alternative treatments:
Managing Pernicious Anaemia in the time of Corononavirus – What can GP surgeries do when there simply is not the time or staff to deal with routine injections?

Finally, we have been forced to postpone all Support Group Meetings and Training Days for Telephone Helpline Volunteers and Prospective Support Group Leaders. It is unlikely that these will go ahead before September.

We will update this article if there are any further developments.

90 Comments

  1. Ivor beavan

    My unable to ingest vitamin b12 tablets due to 95percent gastrectomy therefore injections essential suggested by practice nurse if she would self inject? this was agreed prescription was issued , after instruction from utube UK video all was successful and satisfactory (no need for appointments at medical practice for injections)

    Reply
    • Mr Tony Sproats

      You can also use the B12 Spray , you spray the lining of your mouth and the B12 is absorbed directly in to the bloodstream , bypassing the stomach.

      Reply
      • Adel

        Should I still be working in front line care with having B12 injections and a heart ableviation?

        Reply
        • Martyn Tupper LBIPP

          My GP has an electric car which he has to charge. If he didn’t he couldn’t drive it it would go flat
          and he wouldn’t be able to drive it. I feel that way without my injection

      • Sue Edwards

        Hello Tony My surgery has said that the Government has told them no more B12 injections for a year, as it is not considered necessary. I am very worried. Does the B12 spray help. As I know the stomach throws out oral B12. Thank you. Sue

        Reply
        • Daniel Cain

          I think dr don’t realize that pernicious anaemia is serious I have al the symptoms you can think off the injection only helps for 8 weeks then the last 4 weeks I limp over the line I’m over due a shot now two weeks and they have said the are not doing them until government say otherwise joke I need this as now I’m due back at work on Monday the 27th and feel awful

        • Karlz

          Work in food retail for a smaller company, that alone in the past month or so is enough to knacker you out, add to that 2 weeks over due on my jab…….
          It’s my day off today, I have gotten up, fed the cat and that’s it, feel kerjiggered, but don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses at work if I start flagging or forget something 😕

        • Linda De Jonge

          My B12 jab was due on 30 April, but the nurse told me I would have to wait another 3 months. I’m now feeling the effects: lethargy, tiredness, sinsomnia.
          The doctor is also late delivering my blood pressure tablets. I am very worried about what the long term effects will be.

      • Ennyd Widdowson

        My Husband will need this by June what is it called

        Reply
        • Sandra

          I’m 2 weeks overdue for injection really shattered and pins and needles in my hands and feet now . Nightmare ! No info from GP said would send out a letter still hasn’t arrived .

        • Zahra

          I was on b12 all my life nearly recently as I changed gp mine has stopped until further tests. I’m on the tablets they amazing i had no problems i think if we focus on what’s now only forget what they use to give us we be fine .

      • Leeanne Aitken

        Can you please tell me is the spray meant to come out like liquid if not I think I’ve taken more than 2 sprays is that harmful

        Reply
      • Gillian

        Those who are saying in the medical profession that it’s not a necessity obviously dont need b12 . Its a necessity to me and it enables me to function on a daily basis. I feel truly sorry for anyone who has b12 injections and cant have it .

        Reply
      • Joanne Fisher

        I am currently on B12 injections every 10 weeks as I can not digest b12. The gp has now issued me with tablets as they are not giving injections. Will these work and if so how long for them to start working.

        Reply
      • Ted Kelly

        i’ve been using sublinguals for six weeks. Not working for me.

        Reply
    • Mary J.

      Ask Dr for a prescription and give the injection to yourself into the stomach with an insulin needle. No pain and small needle. You can YouTube a video on how.

      Reply
    • I

      People carnt stop this injection without my injection make me very I’ll tired all the time bruises feeling like am going to faint thier just no way I can do without this

      Reply
    • Michelle Burke

      Hi, I’ve just been informed by the Dr that b12 injections are being withdrawn. They will only give them if levels are under 152, mine are 152 and I have symptoms. I’ve been having the jab for 4 years. This makes no sense to me.

      Reply
    • Colleen

      Hiya, if you are self-injecting the Vitamin B12 were do you get the needles? My mum gets the vitamin B12 injections and has been suffering terribly since being told they won’t be doing them at her GP practice.

      Reply
  2. Tony Gardener

    I have Crohn’s disease which resulted in most of my small intestine being removed but my doctor does not seem to understand the importance of B12 is this common

    Reply
    • Kathryn Edwards

      I too have crohn’s and have precious little bowel left, both large and small. I have had my B12 every 4 weeks for the last 27 years. My GP cancelled my appointment but after several phone calls they admitted that the reason I need the B12 means that they need to continue giving it to me. Ring your GP practice, ask to speak to the practice nurse. She has access to the reasons that you need the B12 which the receptionist doesn’t have. Doing this should ensure that you get your B12. Explain to them that you cannot orally supplement B12 as you have no way of absorbing it. Don’t just accept a refusal.

      Reply
      • Corrie

        I had to do exactly that today.
        Three weeks over due mine and suffering badly for it and at home with my 8 year old twin boys that I need and want to look after and so cannot afford to be anymore poorly than I already feel. That and trying to home school and complete my access course to get on my uni course in September.
        After a lengthy conversation , yesterday with triage nurse , I am there today for it , thank goodness!
        I know the longer I go without it then the longer it takes to bounce back.
        There is no way folk should be having to miss this if it is a vital need to life …

        Reply
        • Jan Reece

          My husband is celiac and doesn’t absorb iron he needs vitb every 12 weeks otherwise becomes ill .

  3. Marion connolly

    My 3 months b12 is now due today what can i do i have to have this because of pernisious aneamia. .my surgery is not open for appointments .could thdy give me a prescripfion for b12 tablets for the time being .

    Reply
    • Stephen Ross

      I too have pernicious anemia and my appointment for an injection was cancelled as I was on my way to get it. My doctor suggested I purchase my B12 in tablet form from Holland & Bartlet or Amazon which I did am and now taking(1 x250 mcg tablet per day). I have been told I have no intrinsic factor so cannot absorb B12 from my food. I am also unsure if I can absorb it in tablet form but I will just have to try it?Steve Ross.

      Reply
      • Petra

        250 is not enough, take minimum 1000-2000mcg of either hydroxocobalamin or methylcobalamin (on it’s own or in combo with adenosylcobalamin)

        Reply
        • Charlie

          My B12 injection was cancelled last week. It was booked in around work schedules and isn’t actually due until the 6th of April. However I was told as I have had the injection in the last 3 months I would be covered for another month. I am 6months pregnant and have all ready been experiencing symptoms of reduced B13 levels. Loss of apatite, extreme fatigue, dizziness, feeling my heart beat. And despite all this I was told by my GP “well you do get tired in the later part of pregnancy!”
          I’m sorry but this is not the right response. My prenatal Vitamins all ready include all the additional that come in the vitamins tubs the pharmacy have that contain b12 so I can’t take them. I just feel completely left without any help. I have a 2 year old to look after whilst my husband works from home and I’m forced to wait another month for an appointment despite symptoms all ready showing. I feel cases should be looked at more than just a blanket information sent to GP practices.

      • amanda lowe-dando

        I was told by a pharmacist that taking the tablets would do nothing as I have no intrinsic factor

        Reply
        • Catherine Connelly

          Had stomach cancer 25 years ago have been getting B 12 injections since next injection due 16 April was informed today that I will not be able to get it don’t know what to do as told if I don’t feel well phone to discuss it with doctor

      • Nicolette

        I was due mine last thurs,I have them every three months and my doctor said I should be alright until lockdown is lifted,have started getting pins and needles in my hand though

        Reply
    • Sarah

      It’s the same over here in Wales, I’ve already partially lost sight in one eye and the feeling in my hands and feet due to them dragging their feet ignoring repeated requests for blood tests I should have been having anyway with pernicious anaemia, 12 months of begging for a test and I finally got one and ended up on ‘injections for life’ – another 12 months later they’re putting me back on the oral which did not work like the folic acid and most oral medication that won’t absorb due to gastro problems, this is on top of chronic bronchitis and asthma – I’ve been discharged by every department I’m under at the hospital ‘to get referred back again when this is all over’ – that’s if I make it that far, like many others who are worried for their and their families futures…good luck and stay safe and well

      Reply
    • Nicole

      I have had b12 injections for over 10 years I have also been refused I have pins and needles in feet and numbing in the arm which states these are symptoms of lack of b12. They agreed to see me in the doctors to have a chat so see if they can give me the injection soon as I said I had to bring my daughter as I’m a single mother she said it’s not possible I feel so tired and unwell I dont think these doctors realise the impact of not having these injections

      Reply
    • debbie Lochrie

      Hi I am due my B12 injection omens of this month but obviously not getting it due to current situation, has anyone been given alternative as tablets or liquid form? I’m breathless, fatigue, dizziness, all I got told add certain foods to your diet but I do eat chicken, red meat, eggs etc in my diet but really struggling. Any advice

      Reply
  4. Lynda

    I have just had last loading dose cancelled. I have nerve damage and blurred vision.

    Reply
    • Donna

      I have orded some b12 patches from amazon, they came in the post within days on 28th March. I think they should work as they bypass the stomach and go straight to the blood streem, I would recommend ordering some if you cannot get your jab

      Reply
      • Debbie Lochrie

        athanks for this info, I did see the patches online I will go order some as I get my b12 injection every 8 weeks was due end of this month and I’m breathless, feel weak, fatigue and the it causes my anxiety to go through the roof

        Reply
    • Patricia Corcoran

      On due my B12 B12 injection but due t9 Corona virus not able t9 get it can I take B12 supplement tablet form for time being

      Reply
  5. Susan Burton

    I have my last loading dose on Wednesday everything ok

    Reply
  6. John

    You can get b12 tablets just take a day for 7 days and you should be ok Ok got some and I feel good good luck.

    Reply
    • Claire

      I have my injections every 12 weeks . My next one is due 21st April, gp has text me saying I cant get this and to contact them again in september.. I have nerve damage dizzy spells and blurred vision, how can they leave me without for 8 months.

      Reply
      • Carole Cook

        I’m the same I don’t know what to do

        Reply
      • Charlie

        I was told by my GP to call back in a month as my appointment was on Monday the 30th, if I was you I’d call again on the 21st as the likely good is they will have changed there minds again. September is a silly length of time to wait

        Reply
      • Karen sturmey karen.sturmey97@gmail.com

        Hi my b12 is over due by 3 week my doctor will not give it to me into further notice I am very worried

        Reply
    • Suzanne Murray

      I have my B12 injections every 12 weeks, I called the surgery and the practice nurse called me back to say they had been cancelled!!! I have been having these injections for 4 years, when I was first diagnosed they had to give me an intense two weeks course every day as I was so ill. I can’t believe they can just stop them as they have a duty of care, it is not like you can just stop them. She has said I will get a call in a months time, to see if things have changed!!! I know this will effect me and I also told her I am a key worker but she just said they will call me back. I think this is disgusting they are putting my life at risk!!! I am happy to give myself the injection, why won’t they let me!!!

      Reply
  7. Charlene w

    My surgery called Fri to cancel my appointment booked for Monday. The girl was really sorry to me when I said i needed it. I have called every day for 2 weeks. On last time I broke down. I have 4 boys and I’m asleep nearly all the time. They then and only then said i can Take the tablets. Why so long!! Ok not ideal but something. I do understand the situation. But why can some surgery give it and not others!

    Reply
  8. DENISE NORMAN

    I have anemia , perneciois anemia and hypothyroidism. All those conditions , when not given treatment , leave me do tired, completeley exhausted.it becomes like a sleeping sickness. Im already extremley tired a month before my injection is due. I know we have a crisis. But we should still recieve our b12 injections.!!.simple as that. Denise Norman. .

    Reply
  9. Glenys pottage

    People dont have these B12 injections for the fun of it people like me need to have these injections .I have mine every twelve weeks,and I know when the time comes around,I’m tired and I dont have the strength to do anything.i couldn’t do without my injections.it annoying when people cancel things without a thought for anyone else, keep your nose out ,they are important to us.

    Reply
    • May

      I have just had my app for Thursday cancelled I’m every 10 wks this is going to make things worse

      Reply
    • Hayley Hodgson

      I’ve just had my B12 today, I was two weeks over cause of them having to sort out the best time to go! I’m like everyone else when I’m due, then overdue, extreme fatigue, blisters in my mouth & sore tongue! It wouldn’t be so bad but I should have mine every eight weeks, I was practically a month late with my last one due to me not booking, I was really ill! But instead of getting me back on track, they just let it be two months again!! My blood tests always show enlarged red blood cells & lack of B12, are they basically the same thing or two different anemia. My bloods have always been like that even a week after having my injection??????

      Reply
      • Mary Undeldorf

        I have Pernicious Anaemia and do not absorb intrinsic factor
        I have my B12 injection every 3 months and my appointment has been cancelled for 6 months. Advised to take Cyancobalamin 50 mcg x 3 daily instead.
        I am really concerned as I feel so ill when I am due my injection

        Reply
    • Carole Cook

      The same I’m so tired atm as mines due second week in April I’m exhausted now

      Reply
  10. Diane Beynon

    My mother is due injection in may from district nurse she is anaemic and takes no iron supplements.

    Reply
    • Susan Binns

      My doctor have just phoned me to say I can’t have my B12 injection on Tuesday, and she said I don’t really need it as my body has stored enough, but I know I need it as I’m all feeling tried and feeling sick, I have pins and needles, I was to go to the chemist and get over the counter medical.

      Reply
  11. Arly

    Had my top up last week, but already have vit b. Was prescribed after loading dose, it’s in my cupboard at home ready to go.

    Reply
  12. Janet kelly

    I need this injection as doctor gives me it 10 weeks instead 12 as I am so poorly

    Reply
  13. Jennifer Burford

    I have my b12 injection at home, administered by my son. Will I be affected?The b12 serum is delivered to me as part of my prescriptions.

    Reply
    • SHEILA LILLEY

      I was diagnosed as having pernicious anaemia in November 2018 but have been unable to get my GP surgery to agree that I do suffer with this. I cannot take B12 as I suffer severe constipation

      Reply
  14. Virginia

    I have had a B12 related peripheral neuropathy, this was 6 months ago. I had the loading dose,and my GP then prescribed 50mcg of cyanocobalamin, instead of the injections. It depends if your B12 is being absorbed. I also bought extra B12 off Amazon. I eat some beef and marmite daily. I was in so much pain in my feet. Hope that you get so treatment soon,and ask you GP if the B12 tablets, would work for you, incase. Best wishes, Virginia

    Reply
  15. Debbie

    I have to pick up tablet form of B12 from chemist today. Although it should of been friday. The chemist is bombarded with new prescriptions and is finding hard to cope. If its not under staffing its too many prescriptions or even a delay in getting medications. But they are working hard and always have a smile on their face. Well done keep up the good work.

    Reply
  16. Mike Sexton

    I have a supply of ampoules of B12 and am due on 20th April. I have been told to contact my Dr a wek before due to arrange appointment for injection. If this is cancelled what do I do as I am unable to convert tablets etc owi g to negative intrinsic factor?

    Reply
    • may clezy

      I have been diagnosed with b12 deficiency and supposed to get injections for 6 days to start and then one monthly, I can’t get an appointment with the nurse they keep telling me it’s emergencies only if you are needing b12 is your immune system low.

      Reply
  17. Ezekiel

    I am required to have it injected as if I take tablets it just doesn’t get absorbed i need the injections otherwise my eyesight goes blurry and I collapse alot I have a 5 month old I’m the only person to look after him if these stop your not only putting me at risk but him to.

    Reply
  18. Dee Chatfield

    I have my B12 injection every 8 weeks for pernicious anaemia and have an under active thyroid the receptionist is asking the GP if an oral dose is sufficient am waiting to hear

    Reply
    • Karen Colbourne

      I have the same (PA, hypothyroid 26 years) and my B12 injection was overdue by a few days. Dr gave me oral CyanocoMinn 1mg 1 a day which I took for 2 weeks but felt so ill with pins and needles, feeling faint and blurred vision that they gave me my injection yesterday. Haven’t bounced back yet but hope to feel better soon. Good luck

      Reply
  19. Susan Cook

    My B12 appointment has just been cancelled. The surgery have told me that it is ok as the body stores it and I can go up to 6 months! Already feeling panicky.

    Reply
  20. Angela Mckillop

    I have been told today that both myself and my mothers injections will not be done next week. We live in Scotland. My mother Is 72 and has been self isolating so I asked if any district nurses etc would do a house call, the answer was no. I’ve to call back in a few weeks time to see what the situation is then. They might introduce tablet form but not guaranteed. My mother really needs her injections

    Reply
  21. tammy polton

    I had finished recieving my once a week injections for 6 weeks shortly before the covid19 isolation , before injections I was breathless and fatigued , after a new lease of energy which I still have now , everybody should be tested ..and treated when necessary whether tested privately or NHS and treated privately or NHS , I believe I had the virus ..I Thank my lucky stars I got tested and treated both privately , I don’t think I would survived the virus ..get testing now.

    Reply
  22. Radhika Popat

    I Need My B12 Injection Now Have It Every 12 Weeks I’m Diabetic And Inject Insulin Twice A Day Is There A Way I Can Get My B12 Injection And Be Able To Administer It Myself

    I Have A Lot Of Health Problems And I Am Trying To Eat Marmite Everyday I Have Stomach Problems Tablets Will Not Be A Good Solution For Me But I Still Need B12 I Had A Blood Transfusion Last Year
    My Pharmacist Is Amazing He Administered My Flu Jab Last Year
    Any Help Advice Would Be Appreciated Especially In These Difficult Times
    God Bless Everyone On Here

    Reply
  23. julie

    I have to have my jab every 4 weeks and already have nerve damage from just under my knee and fingertips. I have multiple conditions. I will most surely be in a bad way with it

    Reply
  24. Norma

    I was told by surf I could not have my injections they would get the pharmacy to deliver B12 tablets . Will they help as good as the injections

    Reply
  25. Anne Holderness

    Why does no one believe just how poorly you feel without these injections I had 6 week injection Monday but told there is to be no more given. So don’t know quite what to do .

    Reply
  26. Kieran packer

    Does anyone know what strength of b12 tablets to take daily as a replacement for the 12 week jab? I have read somewhere that the dissolve under tongue are the best for absorbsion.

    Reply
    • Petra

      Yes, use sublinguals (lozenges) and 1000-2000mcg of either hydroxocobalamin or methylcobalamin (on it’s own or in combo with adenosylcobalamin)

      Reply
  27. sally creedon

    This is sooh stupid, if we dont get the injections like most of you i cant absorb B12 , Im due it on 16/04/20 Been told i cant have it, I work for an electric company so classed as a key worker, Dont these stupid people know that if we dont get our injections we will end up so poorly we will be taken up Beds Doctors and Nurses in the hospitals for the Corona virus victims.

    Reply
  28. Pamela Davidson

    due my b12 injection today. Have been tired and getting shooting pains fir past month. Pins and needles the past week along with headache. I already use the spray between injections and i bought tablets last week but my symptoms are feelingca bit more intensified. I work in a care home surrounded by vulnerable people yet i feel vulnerable too. Im begining to feel worried.

    Reply
    • Petra

      Call your doctor and tell him-her about the pins and needles especially. And ask for a prescription, I´m sure there´s someone at work that can give you the injection?

      Reply
  29. Stephanie Mckeever

    Hi, both my brother and I (who have the same GP surgery), have been sent a letter saying that the Gloucestershire Care Commissioning Group suggest that from now on we can have our B12 orally as one tablet a day, rather than intramuscular injections. They say this is a way of avoiding people coming to the surgery. They suggest purchasing Holland & Barrett or Nature’s Best 100mcg B12 Tablets. The problem is my brother has severe neurological symptoms with numbness and pins and needles in his feet and has had to have them every 8 weeks to keep them at bay. The letter suggests we take tablets for 3 months and then have a blood test to see whether are levels are low or not. Frankly, I know my brother will not be able to cope with this, he has stomach problems and has tried tablets before. I might just be able to get through it. We would happily give each other injections, but it sounds like they are using the Corona situation as an excuse to just switch everyone to tablets. Can we insist (at least for him) that we have them, or is there literature I can present them with which would persuade them to at least to prescribe the ampules so we can do it ourselves?
    Also is it correc that the lozenges are better than tablets or sprays? Thanks for any help

    Reply
  30. Jimmy

    If any of you are desperate it is very easy to inject yourself and buy your b12 vials from Germany very cheap and very quick. There are plenty of instructional videos on youtube.

    Reply
  31. Paul darling

    Just called regards my diabetes prescription and also asked for my B12 injection appointment to be told no it’s not available for another 4 month.
    I explained this is not just a vitamin shot and that my last shot was over 3 months ago now And that my legs and feet now have pains and tingling constantly and prolonged affects can lead to nerve damage and as I’m a diabetic and legs and feet are at high risk I don’t find the need to educate a receptionist very helpful
    I was them told call the nurse tomorrow. Morning
    This is not a well oiled machine I don’t see why injection via appointment is an issue when surgery nurses are available to do it.
    Disgraceful

    Reply
  32. Dawne Wright

    I received a letter from my GP surgery last week informing me that I would not be able to have my 12weekly B12 injection and to take OTC tablets instead. I sent a strongly worded letter of complaint immediately as I really do not understand why they have stopped doing these vital injections. As I am a Practice Nurse myself and yes I am still seeing patients for B12 injections and other things that both myself and my GP feel is necessary for our patients health/welfare I feel other surgeries should think about the patients. I have struggled in the past to get appointments for my injections and have on occasions had to do them myself (although they are not nice) due to lack of appointments so what happens when all this is over how many patients will need to be seen then if these surgeries are not doing the injections now and for how long? How long will patients have to wait for their injections all the time becoming more ill.

    Reply
    • Senga Donaldson

      I get b12 injection every 12 weeks, was due on 1st April, didn’t get it, phoned back yesterday to see when I could receive it, was told to phone back in another 6 weeks time, I am now getting really tired. I also do not have a spleen, surely this injection is one I really have to have. Or can I really go without this indefinitely.

      Reply

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