NHS staff, GPs and volunteers have been praised after the number of residents across the borough of Rochdale who have received a first dose of the vaccine has now exceeded 40,000.
Rochdale Borough Council's leader Allen Brett and chief executive Steve Rumbelow hailed clinical leads and their teams at the 4 local vaccination centres and the local hospital Hub for their work.
Residents over the age of 70, care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable have now been invited for their first jab.
Invites are now being extended for residents aged 65–69, those aged 16–64 in at-risk groups, and carers of older and disabled people for their first vaccination.
The chief executive congratulated clinical leads at the 4 local GP centres Dr Mo Jiva MBE (Rochdale), Dr Mohammed Zahir (Heywood), Dr Venkatesh Mallya (Littleborough), Dr Louise Thompson (Middleton), and leads at the Rochdale Hospital hub, Susan Anderton and Keeley Gibbons, for delivering vaccinations to the first 4 cohorts on time.
Mr Rumbelow said: "The delivery of the vaccination programme across the borough is progressing really well thanks to innovative partnership work between GPs, primary care networks and the local authority.
"To vaccinate over 40,000 residents and frontline health and care staff so quickly has provided vital protection against the virus for some of our most vulnerable residents.
"It has been a real team effort so I would like to extend my thanks to the clinical leads at the 4 centres, the hospital hub staff and to everyone, including many council staff and local community organisations, who have given up their time to volunteer. We are making good progress and, as long as vaccine supplies are maintained, thousands more residents will have their first dose over the coming days and weeks."
Council leader Allen Brett said: "I am proud of the ongoing work at our vaccination centres. The delivery of the vaccine for thousands of our elderly, vulnerable and care staff has been a superb team effort from an army of GPs, nurses and volunteers. People are really getting stuck in and rolling up their sleeves, ensuring thousands of residents are given vital protection."
He added: "We are making progress and, whatever bumps in the road may lay ahead, we are travelling in the right direction. Rochdale's cooperative spirit is, once again, delivering for our residents. Thanks to everyone who has played their part in reaching the 40,000 milestone."
Residents over the age of 70, anyone with a national letter advising them to shield and health and social care staff who have not yet received an invite for their first vaccine can call 0300 303 0355 to book their appointment.
Everyone else, please wait and you will be called when it is your turn.