Young people queued around the block in Manchester today after everyone over 18 in as many as 20 different postcodes in the city were invited to come and get their vaccine.
In scenes mirroring those witnessed at London‘s Twickenham on Monday, when thousands waited for hours to receive their first jab, many more were seen patiently anticipating a first dose of the Pfizer product.
The walk-in clinic was being held at the Irish World Heritage Centre in Cheetham Hill between 10.30am and 6.30pm.
Jabs were made available to anyone over the age of 18 whose postcodes begin with the following: M1 7, M8, M9, M11 3, M12, M13, M14 4, M14 5, M14 6, M14 7, M15 4, M15 5, M15 6, M16 7, M18 7, M18 8, M19 2, M25, M45, M60 6.
The areas are being targeted by health chiefs as part of efforts to prevent a rise in Covid cases, amid growing concern over the prevalence of the Indian variant.
Manchester Health and Care Commissioning tweeted: ‘A walk in Pfizer clinic is taking place today (Wednesday 2 June) at the Irish Centre for first doses for over 18’s who live in specific postcodes only.’
It comes after official statistics revealed today that Covid is now behind fewer than one in 150 deaths in England and Wales, the lowest number since before the first lockdown last March.
Young people queued around the block in Manchester today after everyone over 18 in a number of postcodes were invited to come and get their vaccine
ALL OVER-18S TO GET VACCINATED WITHIN WEEKS, SOURCES SAY
Ministers are preparing to offer vaccines to all over-18s within weeks to help halt the spread of the Indian variant as the UK reported zero Covid deaths for the first time in 10 months.
So far only adults aged 30 and over have been invited for their jabs and health leaders are focusing their efforts on giving older people their second dose.
But it is understood officials are planning to open up the eligibility to all age groups amid concerns the Indian strain – which has been renamed as the ‘Delta variant’ – is spreading very quickly among the young.
In a speech today Health Secretary Matt Hancock will praise the country’s ‘extraordinary vaccine heroes’ — including healthcare staff and volunteers.
It comes as SAGE experts and Tory MPs butt heads over whether June 21’s ‘Freedom Day’ should be delayed in the face of the Indian variant as health officials in the regions worst affected say it is mostly being transmitted by 17 to 18-year-olds, and potentially passed on to older, more vulnerable family members.
Government figures yesterday showed nearly three-quarters of adults have had one dose – with almost half receiving their second dose.
A special one-day vaccination event at Twickenham Stadium on Monday descended into chaos after ‘thousands’ of people were turned away and GPs wrongly told patients that 16-year-olds could get the jab.
Huge crowds of young people descended on the home of English rugby during the Bank Holiday in the hope of getting their sought-after first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
But the event – hailed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as ‘amazing work’ – was blasted by locals, with crazed youngsters rushing to join the snaking queue urged to ‘get a grip’, adding it ‘is not bloody Glastonbury’.
A free-for-all was sparked when everyone aged over 18 were given the green light to get their vaccination at the special walk-in event at the 82,000-seater ground – with bosses hoping to shift 15,000 doses and push them above their vaccine targets for the Hounslow area.
But some jab-hopefuls claimed GP surgeries informed them of the walk in jab centre via a text which said all those aged over 16 were invited to get the vaccine.
Furious mother Nicola Devlin said she and her child queued for nearly two hours before being told by their GP the advice was incorrect and you had to be 18 to get the jab. Meanwhile Sara Elvin said it was a ‘shame’ GPs were sending out wrong information.
Those who got their first jab yesterday were advised by vaccine drive officials that they do not need to go back to Twickenham for their second dose, instead getting it at their local GP service.
The one off event means that those as young as 18 could have both doses of the jab by July 26. Currently, government rules say that only people over 30 are eligible to have the vaccine.
Nick Goldstone wrote: ‘Thousands turned away! Literally thousands turned away! This is chaos. This is life and death. This is not bloody Glastonbury! Get a grip!’
Brenda added: ‘They need to run again and allow 18+ to come all day and/or book this time.
‘My son queued for 2 hours this pm and they ran out as he got to the top of the queue. We need to encourage them. Not sure they will all queue like that again.’
A special one-day vaccination event at Twickenham Stadium descended into chaos yesterday (pictured) after ‘thousands’ of people were turned away and GPs wrongly told patients that 16-year-olds could get the jab
Huge crowds of young people descended on the home of English rugby on Bank Holiday Monday (pictured) in the hope of getting their sought-after first dose of the Pfizer vaccine
The event – hailed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as ‘amazing work’ – was blasted by locals, with crazed youngsters rushing to join the snaking queue urged to ‘get a grip’, adding it ‘is not bloody Glastonbury’
Caroline Miskin added: ‘I hope there will be another one, my 24 year old very fed up to have missed out by five places when the queue closed.’
Meanwhile, Gideon Rachman said the vast crowds of people sparked fears about the Covid spread.
He wrote: ‘Big crowds of young people rushing towards Twickenham stadium on news of free Pfizer for all if you get there by 8pm.
‘Irresponsible message to put out? How to create a superspreader event.’
Some locals said their GP surgeries wrongly informed them those aged over 16 would be allowed to get a jab.
Sara Elvin said: ‘Shame local GPS sending texts that 16 years plus can go, to find out it’s not true. After queueing.’
Nicola Devlin added: ‘I got a text from our Doctor to say that if you have a child aged 16+ then they can get the Pfizer vaccine at twickenham rugby ground today – only to get there, wait in the queue for nearly two hours and be told it’s for 18+ year olds!’
The Hounslow area has recently been involved in a surge testing and vaccination project due a spike in Indian variant cases.
Covid is now behind just one in 150 deaths in England and Wales – and 40% of official victims may have died from something else, ONS figures reveal
Covid is now behind fewer than one in 150 deaths in England and Wales, official statistics revealed today, the lowest number since before the first lockdown last March.
The Office for National Statistics found 107 people had Covid mentioned on their death certificates last week but only 66 died directly from the virus, meaning nearly 40 per cent likely passed away from other conditions.
In total there were 9,860 deaths in England and Wales last week from all causes, meaning the 66 Covid victims accounted for just 0.66 per cent, or one in 150. For comparison, flu and pneumonia were blamed for four times more fatalities (287).
Every region in England went at least one day without registering a single death from coronavirus over this period, data showed. The North East, East Midlands, West Midlands and South West had at least three days where they registered no Covid fatalities.
The Department of Health yesterday reported zero new coronavirus deaths in the UK for the first time since July last year, triggering optimism in all corners that Britain is on the path back to normality and piling pressure on Boris Johnson to press ahead with June 21 Freedom Day.
Experts said today’s figures were ‘very positive’ and showed vaccines were playing ‘a major part’ in driving down fatalities.
The NHS Confederation union added the numbers were ‘reassuring’ but said there was still a ‘real concern’ rising cases could lead to more hospitalisations.
Some SAGE scientists are urging Mr Johnson to push back plans to dump face masks and social distancing amid rising cases of the Indian variant, warning ‘mini Covid volcanoes’ could erupt in local hospitals. It takes around three weeks for someone who has caught the virus to become severely ill and sadly die from the disease.
But the Prime Minister said today there was still ‘nothing in the data at the moment that means we cannot go ahead with Step four’ of lifting restrictions. But he added England had to move ‘cautiously’ and scientists were saying more time was needed to see whether rising cases would lead to rising hospitalisations and deaths.