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BY DECEMBER: Manchester is aiming to offer a booster jab to everyone eligible

BY DECEMBER: Manchester is aiming to offer a booster jab to everyone eligible

Across Greater Manchester more than 115,000 booster jabs have already been administered, Image: Andy Catchpool

Everyone eligible for the Covid vaccine booster in Manchester, including over-50s, carers and the clinically vulnerable, should be offered a jab by December.

Booster vaccines are now available for those most at risk from Covid-19, but there must be at least a six month gap between their second and third doses.

Across Greater Manchester more than 115,000 booster jabs have already been administered with thousands more planned in the coming weeks.

In Manchester, 27,000 boosters have been received as well as 51,000 flu jabs.

It comes as the percentage of people aged 12 and above in the city who have had both doses of the vaccine remains the lowest in the region at 55.4 pc.

Only 62.3 pc of those eligible in Manchester had their first dose by October 23.

Meanwhile, the city’s infection rate has risen to 323.9 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending October 19 – 10 pc higher than the week before.

Those eligible for a booster jab are being contacted by their GP or the NHS.

A letter has been sent to all residents living in Manchester who are aged 70 and above alerting them that they will be eligible for a booster jab this winter.

Manchester council says the aim is to ensure that everyone in the priority groups who is eligible for a booster can get one by the end of December.

These boosters are a key part of the city’s strategy to reduce the number of infections this winter and provide extra protection for vulnerable residents.

Manchester’s director of public health David Regan said: “The booster programme will be vital this winter giving that layer of additional protection for some of our city’s most vulnerable residents.

“Your local GP or the national NHS Team will be contacting people to organise their appointments and I would urge anyone to take up the opportunity to get jabbed when offered an appointment.”

Dr. Manisha Kumar, medical director at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning said: “We have been very pleased with the roll out of the vaccine programme in Manchester, but as we move into winter we have to be aware of the risks that poses.

“It is a season where coughs, colds and other airborne viruses are common and with the added risk of seasonal flu we want to make sure that older and vulnerable residents have the most protection possible.

“The booster programme is just one way we’re working to keep people safe this winter.”

People are now also able to ring a number, for free, to speak with clinical professionals – nurses and patient advisers – about the Covid-19 vaccine and any concerns they have, or just to get advice on how to book an appointment.

This helpline is not limited to information about getting the jab – people can use it to find out about Covid testing or what to do if they need to self-isolate.

A translation service is available for people whose first language is not English to ensure that no communities are left without advice.

Councillor Joanna Midgley, Manchester’s Executive Member for Health and Care said: “Manchester has a range of diverse communities and throughout the pandemic we’ve done everything we can to offer support and advice to all of our communities. By having a translation service incorporated into this helpline we are ensuring that health equality is built into our Covid response.”

The Manchester Covid Helpline number is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm and people can call for free on 0800 840 3858.

 

Words: Joseph Timan, Local Democracy Reporter


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