Vulnerable Wigan care home residents receive Covid-19 vaccine
However, the UK is approaching the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths with the novel coronavirus.
Photographs have captured the vaccination roll-out at the Belong care village in Platt Bridge, where residents received the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab.
More than 70,000 over-80s in Greater Manchester have now received one dose of a vaccine, while more than 13,500 have had both their doses, NHS England data shows.
The statistics have been released as more than 120,000 people have signed a petition launched by the Wigan Post and other JPIMedia titles calling on the government to allow all pharmacists to be allowed to join in the vaccine roll-out programme.
Health authorities have been urged to ensure all care home residents and staff have received a vaccine as soon as possible.
This is due to concerns about infections and deaths in those settings.
Vaccinations are being done at four hubs across the borough, at the regional centre in Manchester which residents who are able to get there can use, and in hospitals.
Pharmacies are now coming on board as well and joining the roll-out, something JPIMedia has been calling for through our Shot In The Arm campaign.
NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said care homes were receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab because it is easier to transport and store than the Pfizer vaccine, which is being used at the large GP-led sites such as the one at Robin Park.
It is not entirely clear how many care home residents have now been vaccinated and detailed regional or local breakdowns are not available.
Health secretary Matt Hancock last week told MPs in the House of Commons that 63 per cent of people living in care homes have received a vaccination.
NHS England last week released for the first time vaccination numbers by health organisation, giving a more detailed picture than the previous statistics which included the entire North West.
They showed that as of January 17 a total of 167,180 people had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s area.
Of these, 70,505 were over 80 and 96,675 were under that age.
It also showed that 20,767 by the same date had been given two doses of the vaccine in the city-region.
These are counted separately from residents who have only had one dose.
Of that fortunate group, 13,568 were over 80 and 7,199 were under 80.
The NHS said last week that nationally more than four million vaccinations had been offered across the country.
And health secretary Matt Hancock told MPs in the House of Commons that the UK had passed the five million doses mark.
In some areas the roll-out to the top priority groups, which includes the over-80s and care home residents, has been going well enough to extend vaccine appointments to over-70s and clinically-vulnerable people.
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