Greater Manchester will further support the homeless during the pandemic.
Following a successful trial run which involved 81 members of the homeless community receive the vaccination, Urban Village Medical Practice will further roll-out their scheme to help those in Manchester who do not have a home. The scheme, similar to the one undertaken in Oldham recently, will prioritise the homeless as part of their vaccination roll-out.
The trial, working with Manchester City Council, offered a number of homeless people in council accommodation the jab, however, the medical centre will now extend their services to those in temporary accommodation and day centres, too, ensuring that anyone who has not taken up accommodation can also get a jab. Where there is no suitable space in premises to give the vaccine, Urban Village’s clinical van will be used.
Emma Hicklin, homeless service manager for Urban Village Medical Practice, said: “We always say that people who are homeless are effectively clinically extremely vulnerable and it’s important that they are part of this vaccine roll-out.
“It’s a moral imperative to do it if you can. The uptake has been good so far, but you must go to where people are. The people we’re working with are saying the same as you hear from the general public, that if it helps us all get out of lockdown it’s well worth having the vaccination.”
Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for adult health and wellbeing for Manchester City Council, said: “The vaccine roll-out is providing protection to those who need it the most and to the community. So far we’ve seen nearly 100,000 Mancunians receive the vaccine.
“From the beginning of the programme we have wanted to make sure the vaccine reaches the most vulnerable and no one is forgotten or left behind. Inclusive health is an integral part of our citywide vaccination programme, building on existing trusted relationships that we can use as we expand the opportunity to be vaccinated to everyone who is currently homeless in the city.”
Urban Village, who provide healthcare to the homeless every week – even outside of the pandemic, is joined by Cornbrook Medical Centre in Hulme and Florence House GPs in Openshaw in helping to vaccinate the homeless – with plans to significantly increase the number of those in the community vaccinated over the coming weeks. People who are homeless have a lower than average life expectancy as a result of their experiences, with COVID-19 posing a further, and potentially deadly, threat to their health.