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As Altrincham Healthcare Alliance’s five local GP practices vaccinated almost 1000 patients today, Mayor of Trafford, Laurence Walsh, said he was “in awe of all those involved” in the roll-out of the potentially life-saving COVID-19 vaccination. 

Witnessing the Covid-19 Vaccination Service in action the Mayor said: “What an incredible effort by everyone involved. These five GP practices are administering thousands of vaccines today and Saturday and are working phenomenally hard to ensure their patients receive a first-class service: it’s fantastic and I’m in awe of all those involved.”

Last week more than 1400 patients aged over 80 from Altrincham Healthcare Alliance PCN which includes Altrincham Medical Practice, Park Medical Practice, Shay Lane Medical Centre (Drs Kelman, Cranston, Naylor, Pathak and Haslam), St Johns Medical Centre and West Timperley Medical Centre, received vaccinations including care home patients in Bickham House, Handsworth and Sunrise.

Having been previously hospitalised with coronavirus, care home resident, 88-year-old Sheila Rice (pictured), said she hoped the vaccine would enable families to be together once more. She added: “I’ve only seen my family through the window for months: it seems like forever since I had a real hug from them. My granddaughter gets married this summer and it would be wonderful if we can all celebrate together.”

And by the weekend a further 1800 patients will have been vaccinated including all care home residents.

Dr Maz Sangha, Clinical Director of Altrincham Healthcare Alliance and GP Partner at St Johns Medical Centre, explained: “The teamwork is fantastic. GPs across the five practices, plus ex-GPs and clinicians are working tirelessly along with staff and volunteers, including the British Red Cross, to deliver the vaccine to our patients.

“Patients have been eager to receive the vaccine as quickly as possible and we’ve been contacting them as soon as the vaccine supply is confirmed which can often be at short notice. I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and hard work. We’re committed to working non-stop to enable our patients to have the vaccine as soon as possible as many see it as the first step towards a return to normal.”

Patient Tony Orange from Hale described having the vaccine as “a no brainer” adding: “It’s been a tough time for everyone. One of my son’s is a doctor so I know how devastating this pandemic has been. And isolation is challenging for so many. The vaccination gives us all a bit of hope.”

Michael and Angela Prior said they were “absolutely delighted” to have the vaccine (Michael is pictured giving the thumbs up to the vaccine). Keen golfers at Ringway GC they added: “We can’t speak highly enough of everyone at Altrincham Health and Wellbeing Centre – from medics to admin staff – it’s been wonderful. We are all hoping for a return to normality…and the fairways!”

Seventy-eight-year-old Sue Howorth from Hale said she felt “truly privileged” to receive the vaccine and George Fletcher, who turns 100 this year, said he felt it provided such “hope to so many.”

Dr Kate Jennings, GP Partner at Altrincham Medical Centre, described the atmosphere at the busy clinics as “truly uplifting” adding “patients are delighted to receive the vaccines and many, after months of being isolated, have said they are hoping it will enable them to soon meet up again with family and friends.”

Added Dr Mark Jarvis, Medical Director at NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG): “We are making great progress with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme across the whole of Trafford. We very soon expect to be ready to offer the vaccine to people in the remainder of the top four priority groups identified by the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).”