Community rallies round to boost vaccination numbers

The number of people getting vaccinated in the north of Trafford is on the increase thanks to the efforts of the community.

In February local public health officials saw that the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccination was lower in the north than other parts of the borough.

As of 24 March, 92% of Trafford’s over 65s have been vaccinated but this figure is lower in the north of the borough. This reflects a national trend of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities having higher than average levels of concern about the vaccination.

A combination of community engagement and pop-up clinics is encouraging more residents to say yes to their vaccination by promoting confidence in the vaccine and removing the barriers to vaccination.

Clinics are being held in community settings many people are familiar with which are closer to some people’s homes than their GP surgery. The clinics are being supported by local volunteers who want to see their community protected against Covid-19.

On Saturday 20 March, Limelight, owned by Trafford Housing Trust in Old Trafford, hosted two vaccination sessions. A morning session held for people invited by local GPs (including Limelight Health & Wellbeing Hub based at the venue) enabledd nearly 200 people to be vaccinated.

In the afternoon a session was run by Everest Pharmacy in conjunction with the local mosque, Masjid-e-Noor. The mosque engaged with their congregation about the vaccination which led to 50 people who had previously not been vaccinated being immunised at the clinic. The chairman of the mosque was also vaccinated on the day.

Mohammed Chunara, chairman of Masjid-e-Noor mosque, said:

“We are so glad to see more people in the community being vaccinated against Covid-19. Sadly some of us have been targeted with fake news about the vaccinations so it’s very encouraging to see work being done in Trafford to tackle myths and to increase people’s confidence.

I was vaccinated and was impressed with how easy the process was and I felt fine afterwards. I really encourage the community to come forward to protect themselves against Covid-19 so we can get life back to normal.”

The clinics are part of a larger programme of work being coordinated by Trafford Council and the NHS to make vaccinations more accessible to residents. The result of this work is that over 1,000 people in the north of the borough have been vaccinated each week in the last five weeks.

Nationally, some communities have been targeted with anti-vaccination campaigns spreading fake news about the vaccination. To tackle this, a service has been commissioned in Trafford to contact patients who have declined the vaccination. Staff from Voice of BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) contact people for a one-to-one telephone conversation in a language they feel comfortable using to discuss the facts. In the first two weeks of this service, 38 patients who had previously declined the vaccine decided to get vaccinated.

Eleanor Roaf, director of public health, said:

“Thank you to everyone who is working so hard to ensure all eligible residents are encouraged to get vaccinated as it is the best protection we have against Covid-19.

The British Islamic Medical Association advises it is ok to have the vaccination during Ramadan, and does not invalidate the fast, but we do understand that some residents would prefer not to receive their vaccination during Ramadan.

If you have been invited for a vaccination by the NHS or you aged 50 or over and would like to be vaccinated before Ramadan please book into the Etihad before Wednesday 31 March or contact your GP to make an appointment locally. It doesn’t matter if you have previously said no to the vaccination, you can still get vaccinated.”

Clinics will continue to take place across Trafford, your GP will get in contact with you when they are happening in your area. Please remember to attend for the second dose when you are called, as this will increase your immunity, help the vaccine last for longer and will give you and your family more protection.

If you are eligible to be vaccinated and can travel to the Etihad vaccination centre, you can book a vaccination up until 31 March by visiting or calling 119.

Posted on Friday 26th March 2021