Mayor and staff in uniform against a backdrop of a blue sign with white and yellow text saying "I am a vaccine hero"
Mayor of Greater Manchester with staff at the Mass Vaccination Centre

After 19 months and nearly half a million Covid-19 jabs given, Greater Manchester’s mass vaccination centre will be closing its doors. First, second and booster jabs - and the forthcoming autumn and winter boosters will still be available in multiple locations across Greater Manchester.

The final vaccination will be given at the centre, housed at the Manchester Tennis and Football Centre on the Etihad Campus, on Tuesday August 30th.

In coming weeks, a  Covid-19 and flu vaccination programme led by Greater Manchester’s GPs, pharmacies and hospitals will be rolled out and given in local communities. Valuable experience gained at the mass vaccination centre will be used to help deliver jabs to people who are eligible. First, second and booster jabs – and the forthcoming autumn/winter boosters – will still be available in multiple locations across Greater Manchester. Find the jab you need here.

Set up over three indoor tennis courts, the mass vaccination centre opened on January 11, 2021. It has delivered first, second and booster doses of all types of the Covid-19 vaccination.

The centre has been staffed by a dedicated team drawn from health and care services all over Greater Manchester and joined by many people new to the NHS. These included former cabin crew and retail workers, some of whom have now joined the NHS permanently.

The closure of the mass vaccination centre marks the end of a huge and sustained effort that ran from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, for much of the time. At its peak it was delivering 2000 jabs every day.

Sarah Price, chief officer for population health & inequalities and deputy chief executive of NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, said: “Over 19 months, Greater Manchester’s mass vaccination centre has delivered just shy of half a million Covid-19 jabs, making a large and valued contribution to our vaccine rollout.

“It has been a tremendous, relentless effort and one that we can all be extremely proud of, especially as it demonstrates how we very effectively work in partnership in Greater Manchester to get the job done.”

Partners on the site included the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust which ran the facility; Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust as the lead employer for staff on the site, which was provided by Manchester City Council. Invaluable help was also provided by Manchester City Football Club as owners and operators of most of the Etihad Campus, and other partners such as St John Ambulance, Aspire and the military were heavily involved in the site set up.

Initiatives at the mass vaccination centre have included the creation of child-friendly areas – (over half of children aged 5-11 in Greater Manchester who have had the vaccination had it at the centre). It has also been a regional centre for confirming vaccinations given abroad.

In December 2021, staff worked from 8am on a Sunday right through to 8pm on Monday to deliver booster doses to combat rising cases of Omicron.

Elizabeth Lamerton, clinical lead for the vaccination programme and associate director of pharmacy at Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I would like to thank everyone involved with Greater Manchester Mass Vaccination Centre. All partners, staff and volunteers and of course everyone who stepped through the doors to have their vaccine and helped us keep the virus under control.”

Two initiatives developed by the lead employer (Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust) and the Greater Manchester Workforce Bureau used at the Greater Manchester Mass Vaccination Centre have been nominated for a prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Awards.

A webinar to support the safe and effective delivery of Covid 19 Vaccinations to 12–15-year-olds has been shortlisted in the category of Patient Safety Education and Training. The team developed an education package originally for a local audience that has been successfully rolled out and shared regionally and nationally.

A pilot that assisted the use of unregistered vaccinators across local vaccination and community pharmacy sites has also been shortlisted in the Pilot Programme of the Year and Patient Safety Education and Training Award categories.

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