‘I’m not worried about taking it all’ – Vaccine rolled out to Sheffield area hardest hit by coronavirus

It has been one of the places in Sheffield hardest hit by coronavirus - but the fightback has now begun.

Thursday, 24th December 2020, 3:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th December 2020, 3:26 pm

In the first wave, Fir Vale and Crabtree saw some of the highest numbers of Covid-19 deaths in the country, with the high level of deprivation, large numbers of patients aged 80 and above and a large black and ethnic minority population all coming together to make the area especially vulnerable.

However, while data shows that ethnic minority populations have been some of the hardest hit by coronavirus, they are also believed to be among the least likely to take up recently unveiled vaccine.

But at the Flowers Health Centre in Wincobank on Christmas Eve – where patients from across Fir Vale, Burngreave, Pitsmoor and Southey Green were getting vaccinated – Mohammad Najib, aged 80, of Page Hall, said he had no such concerns.

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Mohammad Najib receiving covid jab from Pitsmoor GP Lou Millington.

“I’ve just been staying at home all the time and seeing my family a lot less but this will give me more freedom,” he said.

“I’m not worried about taking it all. There have been a lot of people in Page Hall getting the virus so I’m just concentrating on the benefits the vaccine can give me.”

The surgery has received almost 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which must be stored at minus 80 degrees celsius and used within three and a half days.

They have been vaccinating around 300 people a day for the past three days and hope next week to be able to move into some of the many care homes in the area to continue the process.

Jennie Joyce, clinical director of the Foundry GP surgery network.

Forge health group GP Dr Jennie Joyce said the vaccine held out hope that the New Year would see improvements after what has been a uniquely challenging year.

She said: “We were really keen to go ahead as we have got quite a vulnerable population with a large percentage of BAME patients who have higher risks from Covid.

“It has been going really well and the uptake has been very good. We just want to get the message out there that the vaccine is safe, effective and we would really encourage people to take it up.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.