Patients receive first Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines in Greater Manchester at Rochdale Infirmary as part of national rollout

Barbara - Rochdale Covid vaccine
Patients receive first Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines in Greater Manchester at Rochdale Infirmary as part of national rollout
07 January 2021

Patients over the age of 80 attending their scheduled outpatients appointments at Rochdale Infirmary became the first people in Greater Manchester to receive the new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine this week, after the hospital’s Pharmacy team took delivery of the vaccine on Monday (4 January).

The team at Rochdale, part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, worked together at pace to plan in the appointments for appropriately identified patients who were already due to attend an outpatients appointment at the hospital, enabling them to be offered the jab at a time that was convenient to them.

Barbara Tobias (pictured), 84, from Bury was the first patient to receive the vaccine after attending her scheduled outpatient appointment for an ultrasound scan and said she was ‘over the moon’ to have had her jab at the same time. She explained: “I spoke to my daughter who lives in Arizona yesterday, and she mentioned that perhaps I should ask about the jab when I came for my appointment, and here I am actually receiving it! It really is wonderful. I’m very excited about it, and would definitely say to anyone if they get the chance to have it, please do take the opportunity to protect yourself and others, it’s so important.”

Barbara added that the vaccine had given her a real confidence boost about her health and that she would feel even safer now, particularly as she has regular carers coming into her home to help look after her.

Patricia O’Hara, 85, from Heywood, received her vaccine after attending the Ophthalmology outpatients clinic in Rochdale for a routine appointment, she said: “I’m amazed that this has been arranged so quickly and efficiently, I really didn’t expect it to happen today, what a wonderful start to the year. After a very difficult time for everyone this is giving us a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Of course everyone has the right to choose whether to have the jab, but I would say to anyone that if they’re offered the vaccine it really is a no brainer as far as I’m concerned, in order to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.” 

Married couple George and Anita Pertoldi from Wardle in Rochdale were also quick to take up the offer of the vaccine, after attending a scheduled clinic appointment this week. Anita, who is also her husband’s carer, said: “It was a real surprise to be offered the jab today, but as we are here we didn’t hesitate for a moment. It really does feel like we are starting to get somewhere with this vaccine rollout and what a fantastic thing to be able to come to a straightforward appointment and be given this opportunity at our local hospital. It’s a real bonus.”

George added: “Why wouldn’t you go for it? It’s a fantastic opportunity and I am very pleased to be having it. Brilliant.”

Rochdale Infirmary received a delivery of the newly-licensed Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines on Monday 4th January, and the team are now busy working with colleagues across the health and care system to ensure that priority groups including care home residents and staff, people aged over 80, and frontline NHS staff are able to receive it.

Sue Anderton, Divisional Director of Nursing for Planned Care including Vaccinations at Rochdale Infirmary said: “The rollout of the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine is absolutely game-changing for our patients and staff here in Rochdale borough and more widely across our neighbouring communities. It gives us an additional tool in our armoury to help us protect people and prevent the spread of the virus, which is fantastic. Every patient has a personal story behind why they want to receive the vaccine, and it’s wonderful to be able to play our part in helping them feel safer and more secure.” 

Steve Taylor, Chief Officer for Rochdale Care Organisation at the NCA said: “We are very proud to be the first hospital vaccine hub in Greater Manchester to have been able to deliver the new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccinations. We now have access and supply of both vaccines across our NCA hospitals for our patients and patient-facing healthcare staff. It’s a significant step forward for us in the fight against Covid, and it means we can protect as many of our patients and staff as possible as the rollout continues.

“I’d like to thank our staff who are working so hard behind the scenes in both clinical and non-clinical teams to enable this work to happen quickly and safely. I’d also like to remind all patients across Rochdale and the wider Greater Manchester community that you will be contacted directly by the NHS and invited to receive your covid vaccine when the time is right, and I’d also like thank you for your co-operation and patience at this time.”