Hundreds of people a day could be getting Covid vaccine at Etihad Stadium before the end of the month
The Manchester Tennis and Football Centre in Sportcity Way has been chosen as the venue to vaccinate the public and some NHS staff against Covid-19.
The mass vaccination centre will be used to support GPs in primary care which should be carrying out the ‘largest element’ of the vaccination programme.
The vulnerable and elderly will be first to be offered a coronavirus vaccine.
They will have to return for a second boost of the vaccine after three weeks.
Some frontline health and social care staff will also be vaccinated at the centre if their employers cannot store the vaccines in freezers at minus 70 degrees.
Northern Care Alliance (NCA), the NHS group which runs hospitals and other healthcare services in Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale, will be the lead provider, setting up and running Greater Manchester’s mass vaccination hub.
Chief nursing officer Libby McManus told the board that the project team is meeting at least three times a week and that ‘things are changing hourly’.
She said: “My anticipation by this time next month is that we as a lead provider will have started vaccinating up to 1,000 people a day through the Etihad sports centre.”
Plans for NHS staff vaccination are underway and could be ready by the end of the week but details of where they will be vaccinated have not been finalised.
All 20,000 NCA staff will be vaccinated by the same nurses who would usually administer their winter flu jabs.
But those working in Oldham, Bury and Rochdale may have to travel to Salford Royal Hospital if their workplace, where drop-in clinics would usually be run from, cannot store the Covid vaccine in freezers at the correct temperature.
Some staff at other NHS trusts may be vaccinated at the Eithad site if their employer does not have the ‘appropriate freezer capacity’ to store the vaccine.
NCA chief executive Raj Jain told the group’s board that the mass vaccination programme is ‘moving at pace’, having started just ‘seven or eight’ days ago.
He said: “It’s a significant responsibility for our organisation to make this a success. It’s something we’re hugely passionate about.”
The mass vaccination centre will be registered under the Care Quality Commission registration of the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.
Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust will be the lead employer, responsible for recruiting staff at the mass vaccination centre.
Mr Jain said the newly appointed minister – Nadhim Zahawi – will be ultimately accountable for the roll out and deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine in the UK.
He added: “We are not responsible for vaccinating the population. That lies elsewhere and it is yet to be fully defined where that lies, I think.
“We are responsible for effective and safe running of the mass vaccination centre, we are absolutely responsible for our staff and that’s where as a board we’re going to have to focus.”
The Wigan Observer and Wigan Post are more reliant than ever on your taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to Wigan news and information online, you can subscribe at www.wigantoday.net/subscriptions