Oldham Council and local GPs have come together to ensure the borough’s homeless are given priority for Covid-19 vaccinations.
Over the coming weeks and months Team Oldham will be offering the vaccine to people who find themselves with no permanent home, along with other groups already receiving the vaccine, as we look to try and stop the disease spreading.
Councillor Zahid Chauhan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Unfortunately Oldham, like towns and cities across the country does have people who are homeless – many through no fault of their own.
“People living on the streets, or those who have no permanent address, are some of the most vulnerable people in society and need help and support.
“Because they live on the streets they can also come into contact with a large number of people, which means if they have Coronavirus there is a big risk they could pass it on to others. That’s why it is important they are offered the vaccine.
“We also know that most people who are homeless have experienced a lot of trauma, both prior to and during homelessness.
“That means they may have good reasons for not trusting healthcare providers and people in authority. They may also hear misinformation on the street.
“But our message is the same to everyone – the vaccination is safe and if you are offered it please take it up as you are helping protect yourselves, your family, friends and the wider community.”
Dr Salim Mohammed said: "We’ve been vaccinating people in Oldham over the last few weeks, starting with the most at risk group, the over 80s. It’s important that we continue to vaccinate those most at risk from COVID-19, and this includes people impacted by homelessness.
“We are in the process of planning how we can vaccinate this group. They are already some of the most vulnerable people in our society and it’s important their risk of contracting COVID is reduced.”
Since the mass vaccination programme started in Oldham in December, more than 3,700 residents have taken up the offer of the vaccine.