A care home resident in Stockport has become among the first people in the borough and the region to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Pauline Dickens (pictured), aged 84, was one of 29 residents at Wellcroft care home, on Church Road, in Gatley, to be given their first dose of the vaccine as part of the largest NHS vaccination programme in history.
Cllr Jude Wells, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, said:
It is great news that residents from Wellcroft care home will be the first in Stockport to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccination today. The rollout of vaccinations using the Pfizer vaccine started at care homes last week and this, along with the vaccination of all staff working in care homes across Stockport, is a significant step forward in our local efforts to ensure that our most vulnerable residents and the staff who support them have the vaccination as early as possible.”
Residents and their families have been eagerly awaiting news of when they would be able to receive the vaccine at their home and were thrilled to find out that they were first in line in the Stockport area.
Grandmother of four Pauline, originally from Heald Green, who has lived at Wellcroft since July, was the first resident to receive the vaccination and said:
It’s an honour to be among the first people in the region to receive the Oxford/Astra/Zeneca vaccine. It was an easy process and will hopefully mean that life can begin to return to normal in 2021 and will mean we will all be able to hug our families soon, who we’ve all missed. That will mean a great deal.”
Julie Veritiero, Manager at Wellcroft Care Home, said:
It’s been a very challenging year for all of us but we are proud to be among the very first care homes, not just in the borough to be receiving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccination. This will protect our residents from the virus, which is the best chance we have of getting back to normality and reducing the restrictions on seeing their family and friends. Together with the stringent hygiene regime we have in place, our staff can also be reassured that they are able to care for residents without putting them at risk.”
Community Matron, Jemma Billing, who administered the first vaccine, said:
We’ve made an excellent start to rolling out Covid-19 vaccines in Stockport and I am so proud to giving out the first Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the borough. It’s wonderful to know that now we have two safe and effective vaccines available and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Dr Virin Mehta, a Stockport GP and Clinical Director for the Primary Care Network, said:
The COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford University and Astra Zeneca is key to protecting people from this deadly virus. It doesn’t have to be kept at really low temperatures, which means it can be sent out a lot quicker and easier to use.
“Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine give very high protection against severe disease and both have good safety records. While you will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best long-term protection from the virus, you will still have a significant level of protection after you received the first dose.”
Staff at the care home have already been vaccinated at Stepping Hill Hospital, as they were amongst the first in the country to receive the jab when the largest vaccination programme in NHS history began earlier this month.
Priority cohorts for the vaccination are care home residents and staff, over 80s and frontline healthcare workers. Further cohorts will be invited to come forward for their vaccination through a letter from their GP or the national NHS. This will take time, so please be patient and do not contact the NHS to get an appointment until you receive this letter. Further information about the priority groups can be found on the GOV website.