Residents warned of phone scammers as the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out continues next week in Oldham

The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine across Greater Manchester continues next week in Oldham, as part of the biggest mass vaccination programme in the history of the NHS.

The first to be offered the vaccination in Oldham from Tuesday, December 15, will be residents aged 80 and above.

All those who are eligible for the vaccine will be contacted directly by a central call centre and residents are being urged not to contact the NHS or Oldham Council about booking appointments.

And the council has warned that there have already been concerns about residents being contacted by phone scammers, who are offering vaccine appointments at a price or directing people to unauthorised sites.

To help you avoid scammer and to understand how the appointment will work, Oldham Council has put together a checklist:

  • You’ll be called by a staff member from a number starting 0161 770.
  • The caller will identify themselves and say they are calling on behalf of your GP and they are getting in touch about booking an appointment for a Coronavirus vaccine.
  • The caller will then offer dates and times to attend clinic. They will also give the location of the site where you will receive it. It may not be your usual health surgery.
  • You’ll be given the time, date and location for the second dose of the vaccination if you are receiving the Pfizer vaccination. It is vital, you return and keep your second appointment 21 days later.
  • The callers booking vaccinations will not ask for any other personal details other than asking you to confirm your name. They certainly will not ask for any money

This week the first Greater Manchester patients received the vaccine as both Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and Stockport NHS Foundation Trust are among the first 50 designated hospital vaccine hubs.

Dedicated volunteer Ted Jones was the first person at Salford Royal to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.

Ted, who has been volunteering at the hospital for almost 11 years, has been shielding at his home in Swinton, Salford, since the start of the pandemic.

The 86-year-old said: “I am just looking forward to being able to get back to normal and come back to work with the rest of the volunteers who I am really missing.

“I really miss volunteering at this place – volunteering is my life, I love it here.”

At Stepping Hill Hospital 66-year-old Shirley McConnell, from Romiley, was the first patient in Stockport to receive the jab while at the hospital for a routine eye clinic appointment.

Over the coming weeks and months, residents of all ages will be offered the vaccine.

To aid the success of the vaccination programme the NHS is asking everyone to continue to follow the necessary restrictions in their area, maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently and wear face masks, so we can further suppress the virus and allow our NHS to provide services without being overwhelmed. By protecting the NHS we can save more lives and treat more people.

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