Some of the most deprived areas of Greater Manchester have seen the lowest levels of vaccine uptake.

Areas of Rusholme, Longsight and Moss Side, in south Manchester, have particularly low rates.

In Moss Side West, just 65.67 per cent of over 65s have been vaccinated - the lowest in Greater Manchester aside from university areas.

In stark contrast Hale Barns - one of the most affluent areas in the region - has the highest percentage of vaccinated adults in the region.

Health chiefs say there are “clear divisions” in uptake across wards.

And there are concerns that people from communities already disproportionately affected by Covid-19 will be further disadvantaged.

Queues at a Moss Side testing centre

Vaccine hesitancy may be linked to misinformation, as well as historic health care inequalities.

But religious beliefs, language barriers and accessing vaccine centres may also be playing a part.

Manchester Council says vaccine supply should be linked to need.

And Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has echoed this by calling for poorer parts of the country - where life expectancy is lower - to be given additional supplies of the vaccine.

According to the latest NHS figures, uptake is lowest in University North & Whitworth Street (6.31%) - but this is likely due to low numbers of older people in this predominantly student area.

More significant are the figures beyond the student suburbs, which have a more mixed population.

In Victoria Park - which incorporates a large chunk of Longsight - just 14.87% of over 16s have been vaccinated. Just 77.31% of over 65s have been vaccinated in this area.

Neighbouring Moss Side West and Rusholme West and Moss Side also have low uptake amongst pensioners with 65.67% and 74.93% jabbed respectively so far.

Whereas Hale Barns has the highest percentage of vaccinated adults in the region (57.41%) with 94.81% of over 65s having received the jab.

The population figures used by the NHS are based on estimates by the ONS for 2019.

A person receives an injection of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Around 43 per cent of all vaccinations in Greater Manchester so far have been of people aged over 70.

Across Greater Manchester almost a third of all adults have now received a coronavirus vaccine jab.

Public health chiefs are concerned about poor uptake amongst some communities.

Manchester’s Director of Public Health, David Regan, says “clear divisions” in uptake have emerged across wards as the vaccination programme has been rolled out.

“The fundamental thing to take away from looking at vaccination data is that there is no one size fits all solution to addressing vaccination inequality,” he says.

“Last summer Covid Health Equity Manchester was set up, bringing together statutory bodies like Manchester City Council, community and voluntary organisations to work towards how groups already hit disproportionately by Covid-19 can be supported, and stopped from falling further behind.

David Regan, Director of Public Health Manchester

“In terms of vaccination efforts what this translates into is conducting greater outreach work within communities to understand anxieties around getting vaccinated, it involves working with community groups, faith groups and schools to dispel myths around Covid-19 and having conversations with people to make sure they can make an informed decision about their health.

“Practically this can also mean looking at if vaccination sites are in easy to reach locations, or are the ways people can book vaccines accessible for people whose first language may not be English.”

Bev Craig, Manchester Council's executive member for adult health and wellbeing, says there are clear disparities in vaccine uptake across the city.

“Tackling health inequalities are at the heart of what we do in Manchester,” she says.

“When looking at a map of vaccinations across Manchester there are clear disparities between different parts of the city.

“This is something that we are working very hard to address, working hard as health and care services alongside local communities.

“When looking at improving health outcomes we have to acknowledge the part that historic inequality plays and that tackling disadvantage and building trust within our communities especially given the situation we are living through is key.

“We proactively set up Covid Health Equity Manchester early in the pandemic, and it has been a vital body in championing the work in tackling inequalities caused by COVID and ensuring that inclusion is at the heart of the vaccine rollout. It has also been vital in proactively combating the fear, mistrust and miscommunication which has contributed to a lower vaccine uptake in some communities.

“By recognising what the issues are we can take the first steps to overcoming them.

“Manchester has strongly and repeatedly made the case that vaccine roll out and supply should be linked to need and reaching those most at risk and that cities like ours with significant health challenges should be prioritised accordingly, and we will continue to make this case.”

Councillor Bev Craig

Gorton MP Afzal Khan recently hosted a webinar with health experts and faith leaders aimed at dispelling the myths around the Covid vaccine.

He says there are a number of factors influencing vaccine hesitancy in some communities.

“I’m very concerned about this,” he says.

“Different figures have been indicating there may well be an issue here.

“We have seen how harmful Covid-19 has been and there has been a huge loss of life, a huge hit to our economy and a huge hit on education. That’s why it’s so important that so many of us do our best to make sure the vaccine rollout is successful.”

When several cases of the mutated Kent variant were detected in Moss Side last month, the council carried out more than 5,000 tests over two weeks.

The surge testing was accompanied by door knocks at 6,000 homes and letters being sent out in 19 languages, including Polish, Urdu and Somali, to ensure that no community was left out of the drive to get tested.

Mr Khan says that kind of work is vital.

“To get literature in your mother tongue is very powerful,” he says.

“There have been different pieces of disinformation peddled around and on social media. But there are not proper checks and balances there.

Gorton MP Afzal Khan

“Some people have been concerned about the speed of the vaccine and if it’s safe. And some are worried about the contents. Muslim and Jewish people have been worried about if there is any pig in there. People of the Hindu faith would be reluctant if there was any cow.

“We need a system where we challenge these concerns.

“Social media owners have a responsibility to take down disinformation. The government has a responsibility to get the proper information out to all communities.”

Mr Khan hopes the progress of the rollout will give some assurances that vaccines are safe.

“I do feel we are progressing as the vaccine numbers are increasing,” he says. “I hope that itself will give some assurances that this vaccine is safe.”

The areas where the highest percentage of over 65s have received the jab

  • Farnworth North, Bolton - 116.56%
  • Westhoughton East, Bolton - 103.63%
  • Bramhall North East, Stockport - 102.89%
  • Bramhall North West, Stockport - 102.88%
  • Ainsworth & Bradley Fold, Bury - 102.70%
  • Dunscar & Egerton, Bolton - 102.48%
  • Lever Edge, Bolton - 102.35%
  • Ramsbottom, Bury - 102.18%
  • Middleton Junction, Oldham - 101.74%
  • Hale, Trafford - 101.44%

The areas where the lowest percentage of over 65s have received the jab

The areas with highest number of over 16s vaccinated

The areas with lowest number of over 16s vaccinated

The statistics, compiled by the Manchester Evening News, are from the latest available NHS data.

The data published by the government is for areas known as Middle Super Output Areas (MSOA) - statistical units that have a population of between 5,000 and 15,000 people.

The areas do not necessarily represent traditional ward boundaries. For example the MSOA Victoria Park area includes a large chunk of Longsight.