Manchester begins the roll-out of the new Covid 19 vaccine today at the Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre in Wythenshawe.
Patients who are registered with a GP practice in Wythenshawe, that are aged 80 or above and are able to travel have been invited to receive the vaccine at the centre in Wythenshawe.
Wythenshawe was identified as the best initial location to roll out community-based vaccination in Manchester, with other sites to be announced in the coming weeks.
A second dose of the vaccination will be given to patients 3-4 weeks after receiving their first injection.
Health bosses have assured those invited to have the vaccine that it is safe. The city’s director of public health, Dave Regan countered claims that it can rewrite DNA. This claim has also been rejected by independent fact checkers, Full Fact.
Patients will be notified they are eligible to get a vaccine by their GP, either by phone or letter.
Arrangements will be made to get the vaccine to people in this age group who may have difficulty travelling or who are housebound.
David Regan said: “From day one our priority has been to protect as many people as possible from Covid-19. The successful development of an effective and safe vaccine will allow us to save thousands of lives over the coming months.
“This is, however, just the first step and we will not see results overnight. Until the vaccine is being widely distributed our first line of defence will still be quick and accurate testing, as well as adhering to social distancing, good hygiene and the wearing of masks.”
Dr Manisha Kumar, Medical Director Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, said: “The launch of our first vaccination site, marks the start of the largest vaccination programme we have ever undertaken in Manchester. Our primary care staff across the city are working together to set up more sites in our communities so we can vaccinate people safely.
“I am so proud my GP colleagues, across the city, who have worked tirelessly to set these sites up – so we can protect our patients against the virus. But we can’t do this without the support of the people of Manchester; and so, I would urge all our patients to book in straight away when they are called up for the vaccine.
“We know that many of our patients are keen to get their vaccinations as soon as possible, but please don’t call your practice to book in unless you have been invited to do so, your practice will contact you as soon as you are eligible to be vaccinated.”
Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing for Manchester City Council said: “The coming weeks will be crucial for Manchester as we work to get this vaccine to the people who need it most. This is the first bit of light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel.
“The work we will begin next week is a positive start but we do face a long road ahead. Our priority will be protecting our older residents, medically vulnerable people and our NHS and care workers who have been putting themselves at risk this entire year. “Our roll out depends on the vaccine supply from government, so as the vaccine is rolled out we will still need to be vigilant and take the precautions which have become commonplace since March. Mancunians have shown just how resilient they can be and I have no doubt this resolve will continue.”