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Councillor urges Covid-19 vaccine uptake

A Dukinfield/Stalybridge councillor has urged those who haven’t yet done so to get their Covid vaccination.

With more than 1,000 new cases reported in Tameside in the last seven days, Councillor Eleanor Wills has appealed to everyone to get a vaccine to protect themselves and others.

Over the last week, 24 people have been admitted to Tameside Hospital with the virus, a 40 per cent increase on the week before.

Currently, 151,000 people in the borough have had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 119,000 have had both jabs. However, Cllr Wills says she wants to see that number rise to protect everyone in Tameside.

She said: “We're seeing higher infection rates across Tameside so it’s really important that anyone who hasn’t taken up the offer of a vaccine to really think about that and go out there and protect themselves as best they can.”

To encourage vaccine uptake, the borough have been running a number of pop up events with their ‘vaccine van’ which travels around Tameside offering first and second doses to anyone who shows up, without appointment or identification.

Cllr Wills said: “We’ve been running the pop up van and clinics and we’ve been travelling throughout Tameside’s town centres to bring them the pop up offers. We had one last Saturday at ASDA in Ashton, we’re trying to think of places where people are likely to be at certain times. It’s to make it accessible and convenient for them.”

The vaccine van will be stopping at the Winster Mews Car Park on Melandra Castle Road in Gamesley on Thursday 15 July between 2pm and 7pm, and at Ashton Market Square on Saturday 17 July between 9am and 4pm.

The five permanent vaccine centres are also running drop in events, with full times and dates available online.

Cllr Wills said that the drop-in model has been a success for the area, making it easier for those that work full time or rely on public transport to get vaccinated.

According to the councillor, there has been a slower vaccine uptake in the 18-39 year old category, something which the team would like to rectify. She said: “There’s been a bit of a slower uptake in our 18-39 year olds across Tameside which is why were doing a big push and strongly encouraging everyone over 18 to get vaccinated. It’s never too late for your first dose. It’s really highly effective in terms of keeping infection rates down and minimising the risk of variants coming through. It prevents hospitalisations and keeps our hospitals from being overrun.”

A full list of dates and times of vaccine centres and pop-ups is available at www.tameside.gov.uk/covidvaccine.

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