25+ invited for Covid vaccinations
Date published: 11 June 2021
Gode Bolefo, 29, and Elizabeth Alogba, 26
The NHS Covid vaccination programme has moved on, and those aged 25 or over are now being invited for their vaccines.
Those aged between 25 and 29 started to receive their invitations to book their first dose with texts being sent from Tuesday this week.
Two young women, who this week will be able to book their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccination, have opened up about why they will be booking their appointments as soon as they are eligible.
Elizabeth Alogba, 26, and Gode Bolefo, 29, both initially had questions about the vaccine and heard similar queries from within their family, friends and communities.
There has been a rise in the number of people from Black and African communities saying yes to the lifesaving Covid-19 jab, with confidence in the jab growing, with uptake across the North West amongst eligible people in this group now at 63%, a rise of 23% since March. Overall, more than half of adults across England are now fully vaccinated giving them maximum possible protection from coronavirus.
Elizabeth, a recent graduate who now lives in Manchester, said: “I remember when we first heard about a vaccination had been created, my first thought was ‘okay, that’s good news’.” She had some initial questions about the content of the vaccine.
Elizabeth, who works for Manchester organisation Caribbean African Health Network (CAHN), said there were a number of things that helped change her mind.
“Having worked with CAHN for the last year, we’ve had a number of qualified senior NHS Consultants actually talk to us about the vaccine. That reassurance is what I needed. Having black professionals was important to me too.”
Gode Bolefo, who is also known as Flore, 29, has four daughters and moved to the UK when she was 13 years old from Congo DRC, said: ”From what I hear, the younger generation believe they are less likely to be affected, and or become seriously ill so the vaccine doesn’t concern them so much; and the older generation seem to be more concerned about what is in the vaccine.
“I think the best expression that I’ve seen that I can relate to is that every single vaccine gives hope. I’m protecting myself, my children, my family and every single person I come into contact with.”
Around 130,000 residents across the borough have now had their first Covid-19 vaccine and a further 80,000 have had two jabs, ensuring they have the strongest possible protection against Covid-19 from a second dose.
When invited, people will be able to book at one of the 1,600 vaccination centres, pharmacies or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service. Vaccination centres are also available in convenient locations such as mosques, museums and rugby grounds.
Text invitations, which do not expire, appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and include a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.
People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.
There are drop-in clinics running this week, where no appointment is needed, at Rochdale Infirmary (Friday 11 June, 9.30am-12noon), Heywood Phoenix Centre (Saturday 12 June, 9am-3pm) and Number One Riverside (Sunday 9am - 2pm & 3pm - 8pm).
There are different eligibility criteria and different vaccines at the drop-in clinics so please check before you attend.
Andrea Fallon, the council’s director of public health, said: “The response from residents to the vaccination programme has been excellent and we want to continue to support local people by making it as easy as possible to come and get vaccinated. If anyone has missed an appointment they can just drop in to one of our pop up clinics, and if anyone is worried or unsure about their vaccination please do come and talk to one of our doctors and nurses at one of our clinics.”
She added: “Our work across the health partnership is delivering a vaccine programme to be proud of, we just need that extra support from the centre to help get us over the line, and also for our eligible residents to come forward for their vaccinations. Additional resources are absolutely vital, as we all play our part, to get on top of new variants and help prevent another lockdown.”
Residents are being strongly encouraged to take a Covid-19 test this week, even if they are not showing symptoms, to help tackle the increase in infection levels.
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