Man Fast-Tracked For COVID-19 Vaccine After Error Lists Him As 2 Inches Tall

No matter how important our jobs are and how diligently we try to do them, we're going to mess up at some point.

And for the most part, that day when we make our first noticeable mistake on the job tends to be a much bigger deal for us than our more experienced coworkers who just kind of roll their eyes and say, "oh, this again" when we give our panicked explanations.

But while every job has its common occupational hazards that seem worse than they are, it's just as possible to make a small error that can have surprisingly wide-ranging implications.

And as one man in the U.K. discovered, that's especially true when we're dealing with medical matters.

Earlier this week, 32-year-old Liam Thorp of Liverpool, England received a text inviting him to book an appointment to receive his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As he wrote in The Liverpool Echo — for which he is the political editor — this came as a great surprise to him because he knew full well that people of his age with no underlying health conditions were not typically eligible for the vaccine under the U.K.'s rollout.

As The Guardian reported, citizens under 50 with similar health profiles as Thorpe are expected to receive their vaccinations during the summer.

Although he booked an appointment as asked, Thorp felt uneasy about his sudden priority placement and called his doctor's office to find out why he was chosen.

And when he did so, he was told that he was moved up in priority rankings due to his weight. Although he might describe himself as "on the chunky side," the idea that he was clinically obese was just as puzzling to him as the initial text.

As he wrote, "This led to some serious soul-searching and a quickly revised schedule for Pancake Day (I opted for four instead of five)."

But while he dealt with this surprise diagnosis, the medical staff handling his case clearly became just as curious as he was about his status.

Sure enough, the next morning saw him receive another call where a health care worker nervously told him there had been a mix-up with his medical information and he would no longer be eligible for a vaccine appointment during the scheduled time.

Although he said he was relieved to not receive the shots ahead of more vulnerable citizens, he also couldn't help but ask exactly what that mix-up entailed.

It was then that he learned that while his weight was entered correctly, his height was listed as 6.2 centimetres instead of 6'2''.

This meant that his doctor's office thought he was 2.4 inches tall, which gave him a body mass index of 28,000. For reference, 40 or more is considered morbidly obese and according to The Guardian, the number Thorp was told added up to 1,000 times the national average for BMI.

As Thorp wrote, "If I had been less stunned, I would have asked why no one was more concerned that a man of these remarkable dimensions was slithering around south Liverpool."

As Thorp described it, the man he was talking to just sounded relieved that he found his status as an "obese pancake" so funny.

And while the humor wasn't lost on Liverpool clinical commissioning group chair Dr. Fiona Lemmens, she also noted that the mix-up addresses an important issue that can arise when coordinating a vaccination rollout as large as the one we're seeing now.

As she said, "We are grateful to Liam for his honesty and for alerting his GP practice when he received his vaccination invitation. We would encourage anyone who has received a text invitation that they think they are not eligible for at this stage, to contact their GP practice to clarify. This will help ensure that more vulnerable people get vaccinated first."

h/t: The Liverpool Echo, The Guardian

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