All care home residents and staff in Trafford have already been offered the COVID-19 vaccine.
It is understood that around 12,500 people have already been vaccinated across the borough and Altrincham GPs are planning to have all of their over-80s and care home residents vaccinated by this weekend.
This week, Martyn Pritchard, Accountable Officer for Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group, also confirmed all care home residents across Trafford have now been invited for at least their first doses of the jab.
He said: “GPs are well into the programme of delivering the vaccine to those over 80.
“Absolutely top of the list is those that live and work in elderly care homes and one of things I’m really, really pleased to be able to report is that by the end of this week we will have offered vaccinations to all staff and residents in elderly care homes in Trafford.
“I think that’s a really good achievement because the national aim is to do that by the end of January and to get to that point by the middle of January is a really good achievement.”
He confirmed that hospitals up and down the country are focusing on administering vaccines to health and social care workers.
Trafford CCG is working alongside Manchester Foundation Trust to make sure dentists, social care workers and pharmacists are getting access to jabs.
This week Greater Manchester’s first mass vaccination centre opened at the Etihad this week – open to those invited for their vaccines across the city-region.
The plan is for Trafford’s first community pharmacist vaccination point to be open from next week in Larkhill in Timperley – it is not open yet.
Mr Pritchard confirmed that the borough is using both vaccines currently available, the Pfizer and the Oxford/Astra Zeneca jabs – with the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine primarily being given to care home residents as it is easier to store and transport.
He added: “What we’re seeing is incredibly strong uptake [of the vaccine] across the whole population being offered this. The anecdotal evidence that I’m getting from people involved in that is that people really are wanting this vaccine.
“But there will be some people that for whatever reason decide not to take it up and what we need to understand is what are the reasons behind that and what do we do about it. We all need to work together to tackle some of the frankly unhelpful messages that are out there on social media.”
He explained the vaccine’s level of protection does not begin until between two and three weeks after the first dose has been administered.
Trafford’s Director for Public Health, Eleanor Roaf added: “No vaccine is 100pc effective, we do rely on people being vaccinated to reduce the risk, and it does reduce the risk, of serious illness and hospitalisation and of death.
“So some people may get COVID [after the vaccine], but if they do get it it will be milder than it would have otherwise been.”
In Altrincham, the town’s Healthcare Alliance’s five local GP practices vaccinated almost 1,000 patients yesterday alone.
St John’s Medical Practice GP-partner Dr Maz Sangha tweeted: “Another amazing day. A thousand delighted patients makes all the hard work worthwhile. Another 850 to be vaccinated on Saturday. Primary care again showing if we have the vaccine we can deliver.”
Last week more than 1,400 patients aged over 80 from the town’s primary care network (including Altrincham Medical Practice, Park Medical Practice, Shay Lane Medical Centre, St Johns Medical Centre and West Timperley Medical Centre) received vaccinations; including care home patients in Bickham House, Handsworth and Sunrise.
By this weekend, the plan is for a further 1,800 patients to have been vaccinated; including all care home residents in the town.
Dr Mark Jarvis, Medical Director at NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG): “We are making great progress with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme across the whole of Trafford. We very soon expect to be ready to offer the vaccine to people in the remainder of the top four priority groups identified by the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).”