ONE of the first seven Covid-19 Vaccination Centres in the country opened and began vaccinating the public and healthcare staff for Greater Manchester on Monday (11 January).
The vaccination centre located at the Tennis and Football Centre – Etihad Campus in Manchester will be used in the first instance to vaccinate those who are 80 years old or over, if they haven’t already been vaccinated by their local GP or hospital vaccine hub.
Health and care workers within Greater Manchester will also be invited to be vaccinated.
The centre will be run by the NHS in Greater Manchester as part of the region’s Covid-19 vaccination programme. It will be run on a strict appointment only basis, with the NHS contacting people directly for those who are eligible to book their appointments over the coming days.
Those who are eligible will receive a letter from the NHS containing details about how to book an appointment either online or via a central telephone number.
The mobilisation of the centre is a collaboration between a number of organisations, involving Manchester City Council, Manchester City Football Club, the Ministry of Defence, volunteers from St John’s Ambulance and the Royal Voluntary Service, and a number of NHS organisations including the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (which runs Salford Royal) as the lead NHS provider responsible for the running of the centre, alongside Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust which is responsible for the recruitment and staffing of the centre.
Jacqui Burrow, Director of Nursing at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group and Programme Director for the GM Vaccination Centre, said:
“Staff have been working around the clock to mobilise this service. They have come together from a wide range of organisations and disciplines including immunisation and vaccination services, nursing, estates, pharmacy, organisational development, IT and staff training. We are very proud of what has been achieved in setting up the first vaccination centre in Greater Manchester. This is a significant and positive step forward for us in the fight against Covid-19.
“This would not have been possible without the support from our local system partners in particular Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester City Football Club; it is a true example of collaborative working at its best. I’d like to thank colleagues from across our various organisations who have worked so hard behind the scenes in both clinical and non-clinical teams to enable this centre to get up and running quickly and safely.
“Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods in Greater Manchester and the opening of this vaccination centre represents a vital next step in the region’s recovery from the pandemic and will enable us to deliver the vaccine at pace, protecting our local communities.
“To ensure that those who are greatest risk get their vaccination first, we are asking the public to help us and wait for the NHS to contact you. Please do not contact or turn up to the centre without an appointment. The NHS will contact you directly to invite you to book and have your vaccination when it’s your turn.”
The vaccination centre will be staffed by clinicians and a range of qualified volunteers. The team includes a combination of NHS staff, as well as people who have returned to their profession to support the vaccination programme.
Volunteers from St John’s Ambulance will be providing support for the smooth running of the centres in three different roles: fully trained vaccinators, post vaccination observers and patient advocates.
As well as these volunteers, NHS Responders coordinated by the Royal Voluntary Service will also be providing volunteers to be stewards who play a crucial role in help people through the centre, improving the patient journey.
Sarah Price, Chief Officer at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said:
“The centre is one part of the jigsaw in a large scale vaccination programme that will eventually include over 75 points across the city region where people can receive their vaccination. It is a true collaboration of the NHS, public and private sector from across the whole city region”.
Cllr Bev Craig, Manchester City Council's executive member for adult health and well-being, added: "Success in the battle against Covid cannot be achieved by working alone and we are very lucky to have such strong partnerships in the city that can pull together in times of crisis. Man City's support in ensuring Etihad campus is available as a vaccination site represents a significant step to moving back to normality - and a big thanks to the club for their cooperation during the pandemic.
"I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your appointment and get your vaccination when you are contacted. Ensuring as many people as possible get the vaccination in a timely manner is our best route out of the grip of the virus and back to normality. We all have a part to play in keeping the virus under control and to keep ourselves and loved ones safe."
Danny Wilson, Managing Director - Manchester City Operations, said:
“These past months have been extremely challenging for the people of Greater Manchester and the confirmation that a vaccination centre will open at the Etihad Campus is welcome news for everyone. Over recent weeks the Club has worked closely with Campus partners to ensure the NHS has the support it needs to successfully deliver its vaccination programme and we remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting Manchester with its long term recovery, as we have sought to do from the earliest days of the pandemic.”
More information and advice about the national vaccination programme can be found online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination