Milestone reached as over 40,000 residents receive first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

Date published: 18 February 2021

More than 40,000 people in the Rochdale borough have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, as of Thursday (18 February).

Residents over the age of 70, care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable have now been invited for their first jab.

Invites are now being extended to residents aged 65-69, those aged 16-64 in at-risk groups, and carers of older and disabled people for their first vaccination.

NHS staff, GPs and volunteers have been praised after the number of residents across the borough of Rochdale who have received a first dose of the vaccine has now exceeded 40,000.

Rochdale Borough Council’s leader Allen Brett and chief executive Steve Rumbelow hailed clinical leads and their teams at the four local vaccination centres and the local hospital Hub for their work.


Dr. Mo Jiva, lead clinician at Rochdale Health Alliance
Dr. Mo Jiva, lead clinician at Rochdale Health Alliance


The chief executive congratulated clinical leads at the four local GP centres Dr Mo Jiva MBE (Rochdale), Dr Mohammed Zahir (Heywood), Dr Venkatesh Mallya (Littleborough), Dr Louise Thompson (Middleton), and leads at the Rochdale Hospital hub, Susan Anderton and Keeley Gibbons, for delivering vaccinations to the first four cohorts on time.

Mr Rumbelow said: “The delivery of the vaccination programme across the borough is progressing really well thanks to innovative partnership work between GPs, primary care networks and the local authority.

“To vaccinate over 40,000 residents and frontline health and care staff so quickly has provided vital protection against the virus for some of our most vulnerable residents.

“It has been a real team effort so I would like to extend my thanks to the clinical leads at the four centres, the hospital hub staff and to everyone, including many council staff and local community organisations, who have given up their time to volunteer. We are making good progress and, as long as vaccine supplies are maintained, thousands more residents will have their first dose over the coming days and weeks.”

Council leader Allen Brett said: “I am proud of the ongoing work at our vaccination centres. The delivery of the vaccine for thousands of our elderly, vulnerable and care staff has been a superb team effort from an army of GPs, nurses and volunteers. People are really getting stuck in and rolling up their sleeves, ensuring thousands of residents are given vital protection.”

He added: “We are making progress and, whatever bumps in the road may lay ahead, we are travelling in the right direction. Rochdale’s cooperative spirit is, once again, delivering for our residents. Thanks to everyone who has played their part in reaching the 40,000 milestone.”

Residents over the age of 70, anyone with a national letter advising them to shield and health and social care staff who have not yet received an invitation for a vaccine, and are registered with a GP in the borough (Heywood, Littleborough, Middleton, Milnrow and Rochdale) can now book an appointment at one of the four vaccination centres in the borough by calling 0300 303 0355 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm) or emailing



89% of eligible residents in the top four priority groups have had a first dose of a vaccine

Overall the rate of those eligible being vaccinated in the borough has been reported as 89% of residents in the top four priority groups (those over 70, health and social care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable).

However, factors such as ethnicity and deprivation appear to be having an impact on the rates. Of the eligible people who have been given a first dose, only 56% of the Asian population have had a jab, compared with 86% in the white population, and 89% of eligible residents in the least deprived areas have been vaccinated compared with 76% of eligible residents in the most deprived areas.

Pop up vaccination clinics are taking place to try to reach more residents in groups where take-up is lower.

The percentage of eligible people to be vaccinated is the highest in Wardle & West Littleborough ward at just over 90%. Rates in 17 of the 20 wards in the borough are over 75% and the three wards with the lowest rates are Central Rochdale with 60%, Milkstone & Deeplish with 60% and Kingsway with 72%.

Who is eligible?

The priority groups that are in phase one of the vaccination programme include everyone aged 50 or above, those with underlying health conditions and health care workers.

The borough is still on track to offer vaccination appointments to everyone in the top four priority groups before 15 February.

  • Group 1 - residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  • Group 2 - people aged 80 years and over, and frontline health and social care workers
  • Group 3 - people aged 75-79
  • Group 4 - people aged 70-74, and high risk people aged 16 and over (the clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • Group 5 - people aged 65-69
  • Group 6 - people over 16 with long term conditions and carers (the main carer of an elderly or disabled person)
  • Group 7 - people aged 60-64
  • Group 8 - people aged 55-59
  • Group 9 - people aged 50-54

The number of people in the borough in these nine priority groups is believed to be around 120,000.

Locally, residents aged 65-69, those aged 16-64 in at-risk groups, and carers of older and disabled people are the groups currently being invited for a vaccine.


Number One Riverside


Where to be vaccinated?

The borough has four community vaccination centres in operation; the site at Number One Riverside can get up to 1,250 vaccinations completed per day (depending on supply). Vaccinations are also being administered at Rochdale Infirmary five days a week.

Residents may be invited to have the vaccination at the Greater Manchester NHS Vaccination Centre at the Etihad Campus in East Manchester, one of the national large-scale vaccination sites.

The Greater Manchester centre is an additional option for people, who, once they have been contacted to make an appointment, can book through the national booking service online or over the phone. If it is not convenient for you to travel so far for a vaccination, you can opt to wait to be invited to attend one of the local vaccination centres in the Rochdale borough instead.

The local vaccination programme is being run by groups of GPs with the support of the council and NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group.

When it is your turn to receive the vaccine, you will be contacted by Rochdale Health Alliance or your GP surgery and invited to go for your appointment. If you’re not registered with a GP, you will need to register with one.

You must have an appointment to receive the vaccine. You cannot just turn up at one of the vaccination service centres.

Answers to key questions around the vaccination process can be found at:

Case numbers in the borough are still coming down but more slowly than last month, with 183 cases per 100,000 people being reported for the week ending 12 February, down from 232 cases per 100,000 the week before.

The age group with the most new cases is 20-29 year-olds and the wards with the most cases include Bamford, Spotland & Falinge, Wardle & West Littleborough, Kingsway and Hopwood Hall wards.



FAST Testing


A FAST test programme was set up in the borough in January, with four test sites across the borough.

Anyone who cannot work from home or comes into regular contact with the public is encouraged to take up this offer of new Find And Stop Transmission (FAST) testing to protect themselves, their loved ones, and other residents.

The FAST testing programme, which use lateral flow tests, aims to identify those who unknowingly have the virus as they have no symptoms – otherwise known as asymptomatic.

FAST tests are only for people showing no symptoms. You must not attend if you have any symptoms. Tests are free and there is no need to book you can simply turn up at one of the sites across the borough:

  • Rochdale – Nye Bevan House, Maclure Road, Rochdale, OL11 1DN
  • Heywood – Heywood Sports Village, West Starkey Street, Heywood, OL10 4TW (both a walk in site and a drive-through site)
  • Middleton – Bowlee Sports Centre, Windermere Road, Middleton, M24 4LA
  • Pennines – Hare Hill Bowling Club, Townhouse Road Littleborough, OL15 9BG

All sites are open 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm at weekends.

If you have Covid-19 symptoms please do not attend one of the FAST test sites. You should book a test online or by phoning 101.


One of the borough's Covid-19 test centres is at Rochdale Leisure Centre
One of the borough's Covid-19 test centres is at Rochdale Leisure Centre


The borough has three local test centres:

  • Rochdale - in the car park at Rochdale Leisure Centre, Entwisle Road, Rochdale OL16 2HZ
  • Middleton - in the marquee on the Market Place Car Park next to Middleton Arena, Old Hall Street, Middleton M24 1AG
  • Heywood - Heywood Civic Centre, LCpl Stephen Shaw MC Way, Heywood OL10 1LW

You must drive, walk or cycle to the site - do not use a taxi or public transport. If this is not possible, you'll need to order yourself a home test.

Bookings for 8am-1pm can be booked from 8pm the night before. Bookings from 1pm-8pm can be booked from 10am that day.

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