MORE than 55,000 people have been vaccinated across Wigan thanks to four GP led clinics.

The vaccination programme, which won praise from a government minister last week, continues to move through the priority groups.

After the initial target of giving everyone in the top four priority groups, including those aged 70-plus, and the extremely clinically vulnerable, their first dose, it moved on to the next cohorts.

Dr Tim Dalton, Local GP and Chair of NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Fantastic progress is being made with our COVID-19 vaccination programme in Wigan Borough.

"We have four GP led vaccination clinics in Wigan Borough with the clinic at Leigh Leisure Centre being run by the GP practices from across Leigh, Tyldesley, Atherton and Boothstown area.

"They are being supported by the CCG and a number of volunteers from across health, Wigan Council and Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles staff.

"It’s a wonderful example of the GP practices, CCG and council working together and I have loved to see the team spirit amongst staff and volunteers who in normal circumstances might be lollipop people, personal trainers, swimming instructors or office workers coming together to support this important effort. We’ve had lots of positive feedback from patients which is a credit to everyone involved.

"I am proud that up to Sunday, February 21, we have vaccinated 55,596 people across the four GP led clinics. We are now up to vaccinating priority groups 5 and 6. People in group 5 aged 65 to 69 will have been invited by NHS England to book an appointment at one of the national clinics, but if they would prefer to attend one of our GP led vaccination clinics they just need to get in touch with their GP practice.

"GP practices are also focusing on contacting people who are eligible in group 6, those aged 16 – 64 at greater risk. It will take a number of weeks for practices to get through the people eligible in this group so we ask people to bear with us and wait for the NHS to be in touch.

"I would also like to encourage anyone aged 70 and above who hasn’t yet come forward for whatever reason to do so by contacting their GP practice, ringing 119 or going online

"There are many more vaccines to deliver but thanks to everyone’s hard work and commitment we are making great progress.”