Today Greater Manchester will mark the outstanding contribution of thousands of people who are working hard to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine across the city region.

The ‘vaccine heroes’ campaign will celebrate and share the stories of NHS staff, employees of other partner organisations, and volunteers who are all playing a vital role in delivering the life-saving jab.

The smooth running of every one of Greater Manchester’s vaccine centres is down to a whole team of busy bees – whether it’s the stewards in the car park, the staff taking down patient details or the person injecting the vaccine – everyone has a part to play.

Max Hetherington usually works as a holiday rep in Mallorca but decided to train as a vaccinator and has now taken up a full-time role at the Greater Manchester Vaccination Centre at the Etihad Campus.

Max said: “It’s a really rewarding job and everyone is grateful and incredibly relieved to be having their vaccination. I honestly can’t believe I’m here and while I look forward to getting the call to go back to Mallorca in the future, I will stay as long as I’m needed.”

Charmi Rami, practice manager at the Jolly Medical Centre GP practice in Cheetham Hill, Manchester is also supporting her local vaccine centre at the Irish World Heritage Centre. Her role involves ensuring the vaccine clinics run to time and maximising available resources, including the deployment of staff.

Charmi said: “I wanted to be involved in the vaccine programme because I had witnessed the effect of the pandemic on our patients and families. We saw first-hand the devastation of families being broken by deaths from the virus, the effect on people’s mental health and the impact on our community. I feel a strong sense of satisfaction knowing that by grace of god, I am in a position to help and expedite the vaccination programme in my area.”

Jane Pilkington, senior responsible office for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Greater Manchester, said:

“Since December we have delivered more than 2.4 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to our population. That is an incredible feat and we owe so much to all those who are working hard to keep our vaccine centres running. Whether you are NHS staff, someone who usually works for in another organisation or sector who has retrained, or our army of volunteers – you are all vaccine heroes. Everyone involved in delivering the vaccine programme is doing an amazing job.

“For all those who are eligible but have not yet had their Covid-19 vaccine I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s safe, it’s effective and it offers the best protection from the virus – for you and those around you.”

Max and Charmi are the first in a series of vaccine heroes who will be sharing their stories as part of this campaign over the coming weeks. Follow Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership on Twitter (@GM_HSC) and Facebook (@GMHSCPartnership) and look out for #GMVaccineHeroes to find out more and nominate a vaccine hero.

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