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Homeless People Given COVID Vaccines By Oldham Council In UK First

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 14 Jan 2021 12:05
Homeless People Given COVID Vaccines By Oldham Council In UK FirstPA Images

Homeless people and those living in shelters are now being prioritised for COVID jabs in a pioneering new scheme from Oldham Council.

The Department of Health initially placed people over the age of 80, care home workers, and health and social care workers in the top priority band, but Oldham Council and local GPs insisted on the homeless also being prioritised.

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They argued that homeless people and the elderly are most at risk of contracting the virus.

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As of yesterday, January 13, around 30 homeless people have received the vaccination after a clinic was set up at Oldham’s A Bed Every Night shelter, run by charity Depaul.

Dr Zahid Chauhan, who is also an Oldham councillor responsible for health and social care, said homeless people are ‘extremely vulnerable’ of contracting the virus and expressed his delight about the new scheme.

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As per Metro Online, the doctor said:

It is setting an example for the rest of the country, rest of the world, and saying, ‘Please, please don’t ignore these people’.

We can protect them, and if they catch Covid they become ill and if they become ill, that’s where you end up in hospitals, if you are lucky, your hospital beds go, your ICU beds go.

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Dr Chauhan continued, ‘It makes absolute sense from all directions to actually vaccinate these people and I’m still requesting government, please consider again, it is my plea to you, these are extremely vulnerable people.’

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Homeless couple Lee Ullha, 46, and Kelly Heney, 38, were the first to be administered the vaccine, reported Big Issue. Outreach service Street Angels reached out to the pair after they had been living for months in a tent at a local park, and brought them into the shelter to receive the jab.

Lee was over the moon to get the vaccine and said he was ‘amazed to have had it done’.

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He continued:

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We were homeless a few months ago after we got evicted and walked out of the flat with basically the clothes that we had on our back; we were left with nothing. So it’s unbelievable that this has happened.

Kelly added, ‘It was such a good thing to have and I am so glad to have had it. I’m over the moon to have been among the first homeless people to have had it, I feel famous!’

It’s hoped by Dr Chauhan and other officials in Oldham that the rest of the country will follow their example, and so more homeless people will go on to be vaccinated.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, COVID-19, Now, UK, vaccine, World News

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