First Covid vaccination hub opens in Manchester as elderly residents are given the jab

The city’s first community vaccination centre for coronavirus opened in Wythenshawe this week.

Patients over 80 are the first in the region to be vaccinated at Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre, with additional community hubs soon opening across Manchester.

A total of 975 vaccines will be administered to older residents registered to a GP as part of the vaccination programme.

Younger and less vulnerable residents will then be invited to the centre for vaccination.

GPs are notifying patients of their eligibility for the vaccine by phone or letter.

Patients will then return to the centre three-four weeks later for a second dose.

Manchester health authorities will ensure residents who are housebound or struggle to travel can still receive their vaccines.

The centre will deliver the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which trials found is 95% effective against the virus in all age groups.

Dr Manisha Kumar, medical director of Manchester Health and Care, 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.”

Wythenshawe’s vaccination hub was created in a partnership with the NHS, the city’s clinical commissioning groups, GP surgeries and Wythenshawe community housing group.

Manchester Health and Care identified Wythenshawe as the best spot for its first site, as the borough meets the NHS’s criteria for a ‘Primary Care Network’ area, with high deprivation and a high number of residents over 80.

Councillor Bev Craig, executive member for adult health and well being at Manchester City Council, said: “Our priority will be protecting older residents, medically vulnerable people and our NHS and care workers who have been putting themselves at risk this entire year”.

Sarah Woolley, who runs Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre and is senior community investment manager for WCHG, said: “I am delighted that our centre has been selected to be an integral part of the roll out of the vaccine.

“Our commitment to working with our health partners to ensure our communities’ health and wellbeing is a priority has meant that we are able to be part of that journey to building back better for our local community and economy.”

Manchester City Council is urging residents to maintain safety precautions, as the city’s vaccination programme relies on government supply.

Cllr Craig said: “Mancunians have shown just how resilient they can be and I have no doubt this resolve will continue.”

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