Homeless people are being vaccinated against COVID 19 as part of a pioneering scheme after a council insisted rough sleepers and those living in shelters should be prioritised.
Under the Department of Health’s mass vaccination program, the over 80s, care home residents and health and social care workers are first in line to get the jab, but Oldham Council and local GPs insisted homeless people should be protected among the first group of people receiving the vaccine because they, along with the elderly, are most at risk from the virus.
Around 30 people in the region have so far been vaccinated after a clinic was set up at Depaul homeless shelter in Oldham, with more planned to receive the jab.
Dr Zahid Chauhan, who’s also an Oldham councillor responsible for health and social care, said homeless people were extremely vulnerable and that their life expectancy was between just 43 and 45 years old.
He said he was delighted with the scheme, as he issued a personal plea to the Government to please prioritise the homeless as it’s the right and human thing to do, and Dr Zahid Chauhan continued that it was setting an example for the remainder of the country, the rest of the world and said, please don’t ignore these people.
He continued that we can protect them, but that if they get COVID they become sick and if they become sick, they will end up in hospitals and then hospital beds will be taken, along with ICU beds.
And he said that made perfect sense from all directions to vaccinate these people and that he was asking the Government to please consider again and it was his appeal to them as these people are extremely vulnerable.
Homeless couple Kelly Heney, 38, and Lee Ullha,46, live at a homeless shelter and they were vaccinated with the Oxford AstraZeneca jab.
Lee Ullha said that they got evicted when this COVID thing kicked in, that’s why they were living in the park so they didn’t watch TV, so they didn’t know much about it.
He said that it was scary, especially with the new strain of COVID and he didn’t think that people take it as seriously as it is.
He continued that you see people strolling around without their masks and they’re saying it’s not real and that it’s all make-believe, and he said that it’s important that people have the vaccine and that it’s for their safety.
Ms Heney added that for her, she couldn’t believe it’s just happened and that she was thrilled and so pleased that they’d had the COVID injection because it was a huge thing.
The vaccinations came as the United Kingdom recorded another 1,654 deaths, the highest daily toll since the pandemic started, while more than 100,000 deaths have been linked to COVID 19.
These poor people need all the help they can get because most of us have a nice warm home to be in and we should be happy for them to go before us, at least we’re in the comfort of a nice warm home, and what a disgrace it is that these people are on the streets in the first place when they need all the help they can get, but then we should be asking Oldham Council why they’re homeless in the first place.
The homeless and rough sleepers quite often lead a somewhat turbulent lifestyle and would find it nigh on impossible to adhere to rules such as mask-wearing or social distancing.
And due to the transient nature of their lifestyle they can come into contact with many other people, so it makes sense to vaccinate them.
Many also have chronic illnesses and have to share space in shelters et cetera, so are extremely exposed to catching and suffering considerably with COVID 19, so it makes sense to vaccinate.