All housebound residents aged over 70 who were able and consented have now been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Tameside and Glossop.
NHS workers visited them in their own homes to give them the vaccination, ensuring that no-one is left behind from protection against the virus.
Tameside Council say the rapid rollout of the Covid vaccine locally has now seen every care home resident and staff members, the over 70s and defined clinically extremely vulnerable individuals all offered a vaccine.
The vaccination of these priority groups, as determined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), is ahead of the government deadline of Monday (15 February).
It’s anticipated that by the end of April all of the first phase priority groups 1 to 9, which includes all over 50s and adults aged 18-65 in an at-risk group, will have been vaccinated in Tameside and Glossop - dependent on vaccine delivery.
The Covid-19 vaccination programme began locally before Christmas and has made rapid progress since, with more than 40,000 doses already administered. While vaccination clinics have been taking place as soon as batches of the vaccine arrive.
A drive-through centre opened at Hyde Leisure Centre on 16 December, which was followed quickly by hubs in Ashton, Glossop (covering Gamesley), Denton (covering Droylsden and Audenshaw), and Stalybridge (covering Dukinfield and Mossley).
'No-one will be left behind in drive to offer vaccine'
Dr Asad Ali and Dr Ashwin Ramachandra, NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Co-chairmen, said: “People who are housebound often rely on visits from health and care professionals, carers, friends and family members to bring medication, supplies and support, meaning a number of different people are regularly entering their home and potentially bringing the virus in with them.
“Given their vulnerability, we needed to vaccinate these patients as soon as possible to ensure that if they do inadvertently come into contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive, they are protected against becoming severely unwell.
“We’re proud of our colleagues who have gone the extra mile to visit people that need the vaccine the most on top of continuing our usual vaccine programme.”
Tameside Council Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Population Health, Councillor Eleanor Wills, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to vaccinate all housebound residents aged over 70, who were able and consented, to provide protection for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
“Age is the strongest determinant for becoming seriously ill or dying from contracting Coronavirus and so we must do absolutely everything we can to protect our most vulnerable first and foremost. Until now the NHS has asked people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are protected first - and that remains the case for most people. However, I now urge everyone in Tameside and Glossop aged 70 and over to now contact the NHS so they can be vaccinated by the middle of this month.
“No-one will be left behind in our drive to offer the vaccine across Tameside and Glossop and we will soon be extending the programme further to more of the nine priority groups who should await their invitation before contacting the NHS.”
A reminder of the rules and regulations
Residents are being reminded to only leave their house for essential reasons such as getting a Covid test, food shopping, essential work, education, exercise or helping someone vulnerable, and to remain extra vigilant about washing hands, social distancing and wearing a face covering.
Anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus – such as a fever, new continuous cough or loss or change of taste or smell – can obtain a test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. If the test is positive, people must follow the guidance including self-isolating immediately for at least 10 days. All members of their household must also self-isolate for 10 days.
People are being reminded that it's a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive or are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Those who don't could be fined. Information on support, including food supplies, financial support and mental health and wellbeing, can be found at www.tameside.gov.uk/coronavirus/selfisolation.
An elderly resident receiving their Covid-19 vaccine dose at the Active Oxford Park vaccination site in Ashton. Photo credit: Nigel Wood.
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