A Didsbury couple are among the latest folk to swell the ranks of the second COVID-19 vaccination club – and are urging everyone to join them as soon as they have the chance.
Harold and Sheila Tapley, aged 97 and 88 respectively, had their second jabs at the Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre in Wythenshawe, just under 12 weeks since their first at the same venue.
Said Sheila, a retired teacher and lecturer: “Like most older people we’ve not been out much this year, so when the vaccine came along we jumped at the chance of having it. And now we’ve had the second one we feel a lot more confident about things.
“We still can’t do much because of lockdown, and we probably won’t be going and sitting in the pub even when we can! But it does mean that hopefully soon we can do more and spend time with the family including our two great grand-daughters.”
Sheila added: “The set-up at Woodhouse Park was brilliant, it felt safe and well-organised and the people were lovely and kind. It’s fair to say that in us they have two extremely satisfied customers! I would say to anyone when they get the opportunity to have their vaccination to take it.”
Sheila and Harold, a retired engineer, join more than 125,000 people in Greater Manchester who have now received both jabs, and this number will rise sharply in coming weeks as over 70s, people deemed as clinically extremely vulnerable and health and social care workers return for their second vaccination.
The city region’s health leaders are keen to stress the importance of getting a second dose of one of the two available vaccinations (all second doses will be the same type as the first).
Christine Khiroya, Immunisations and Screening Lead, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The first dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offer good levels of protection, but to reach maximum protection from COVID-19 everyone will need to get their second dose.
“We are working hard to make sure everyone gets their invite for a second jab, and reminding people about any previously booked appointments. We’re absolutely determined that nobody will slip through the net.
“There may be a few concerns from people who had side effects from their first vaccination but please be assured that any after-effects from the jab are usually mild and short-lived, and far more preferable than the unchecked effects of catching COVID-19.
“If you have any worries at all, please do discuss them with a healthcare professional. We need everyone to have both vaccinations so we reach maximum protection in our communities and hopefully get back to normal as soon as possible.”