Across the borough there are more than 16,000 people in the highest priority groups who have already been offered the vaccine but are yet to receive a dose. Those people and other eligible adults are being encouraged to come forward so that they are protected from the new variants that are spreading in some areas of the country.
The number of cases of the so-called Indian variant, which spreads faster between people, are increasing in Greater Manchester and has been found in a small number of recent test results in the Rochdale borough.
First dose Pfizer vaccines will be available at a drive-through site at Rochdale Football Club and walk-in clinics. No appointment is needed but people that are already booked in elsewhere should stick to their existing appointments.
The clinics will be held at:
Wardleworth Community Centre, South Street, Rochdale, OL16 2EP (Saturday 22 May and Sunday 23 May, 10am-6pm)
Bowlee Park Community School, Windermere Rd, Middleton, M24 4LA (Saturday 22 May and Sunday 23 May, 10am-6pm)
Rochdale Football Club, *drive-through site* in the car park off Sandy Lane, OL11 5DR (Saturday 22 May and Sunday 23 May, 10am-6pm)
Rochdale Infirmary, OL12 0NB. . (Saturday 22 May and Sunday 23 May 9am to 4pm) *The clinic can be accessed at the outpatients entrance on Quarry Street*
Kashmiri Youth Project, Belfield Road, Rochdale OL16 2UP (Sunday 23 May, 10am-6pm)
Anyone aged 18 above is being urged to attend the clinics.
Lower vaccination uptake coincides with higher covid-19 transmission rates, so the clinics aim to boost vaccine take up, helping to prevent an increase in infection levels and hospitalisations.
Councillor Neil Emmott, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Our targeted approach will help to ensure we are one step ahead, so if a new variant does take hold, as many residents as possible are protected from the virus and are protecting other people. The evidence from Bolton shows that most people in hospital with covid-19 had not had the vaccine. That is a sobering thought and another reason why everyone should take up the vaccine offer as soon as possible.”
He added: “Over 118,000 people in our borough have had at least one dose, I would urge residents not yet protected to come along and receive their first vaccination. This is our only route out of the pandemic, so let’s all play our part to protect ourselves, our family, friends and the community.”
Andrea Fallon, the council’s director of public health, said: “These clinics are located at the heart of local communities, with no appointment needed, enabling easy access for residents. We are encouraging those who meet the eligible criteria to come along and receive their first dose. Anyone who is unsure can still come along for a chat with our vaccination teams. We are looking for reasons to vaccinate people, not for reasons to turn people away. The more people who are vaccinated, the more we suppress the virus and protect each other.”
Local GP Chris Duffy, chair of NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are urging anyone who is aged 18 and over to come to one of our clinics this weekend and receive this vital protection from coronavirus. This action is being taken to protect everyone in the Rochdale borough, to help stop the spread of the new variant and to make the vaccination clinics as accessible as possible for our residents.”
Further information at www.rochdale.gov.uk/covidvaccine