COVID-19: North West’s second dose milestone

The NHS in the North West has vaccinated more than 3.6 million people against Covid-19, with the number receiving their second dose reaching a new weekly high.

More than 377,645 people in the region have now received their second jab, almost double the previous week when 196,717 returned to get their next dose, almost twice as many as did so the week before.

The focus is now on making sure that absolutely everyone in the most at-risk cohorts has had the chance to be vaccinated, ahead of 15 April when there is more constrained supply of available doses.

Regional Director of Commissioning (North West), Dr Linda Charles Ozuzu, said: “At the same time as increasing second doses week on week, we are continuing to work to ensure that eligible people who have not yet taken up the offer to be vaccinated are not left behind.

“I’d urge everyone who has received an invite to come forward and get their life-saving vaccine, not only to protect themselves, but also those around them.”

The NHS has been inviting those eligible for a jab by letter and text with GPs also calling some patients.

Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and letters include a web link to click and reserve an appointment at one of more than 300 large-scale vaccination centres or pharmacies across England.

Regional hospital hub and GP-led vaccination services that have been giving second doses in recent weeks include the Life Centre in Sale and Clarendon Leisure Centre in Salford.

On the importance of getting the vaccinations, Carroll said: “It puts us a step nearer to getting normality into our lives again, to a life we knew before. We’ve been in isolation for so long it’s not the same. We’re tired of standing on the doorstep and talking to the kids, but we’ve had each other.”

Jasper added: “We want to feel safer and content in ourselves.”

GP Yvonne Burke, who works at Boundary House GP Practice in Sale is one of the vaccinators at The Life Centre. She has seen a lot more positivity from those coming in for their second dose over the past week.

She said: “I see a lot of people who have lost their confidence, physically and mentally during the lockdowns and giving this vaccine is a way to help bring that confidence back.”

“People should have the vaccine because it’s saving lives. Young and old, no matter what age, it does no harm. You may have a bit of a headache after for a while but that’s alright!”

On what she’ll do once we’re able to leave lockdown, Mary said: “I’ll walk! Walk absolutely everywhere. I might even go on a safari!”

Many frontline NHS staff who also had their first doses back in December last year have also come forward for their second dose, including Manchester GP Dr Tom Hodgson, from Springfield Medical Centre in Eccles.

Dr Tom Tasker, who is Clinical Chair of Salford Clinical Commissioning Group, had his second dose of the vaccine at Clarendon Leisure Centre. He said: “Having the second jab at this fantastic facility brings me another step closer to a time when I’ll be able to see family again and make some new memories.”

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