Published: Tuesday, 15th Dec 2020

An 80-year-old couple from Bromley Cross are the first people in Bolton to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the community vaccination programme.

Bolton COVID vaccineMichael and Ann Clubley, who both turned 80 earlier this year, were first in line to be vaccinated on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at Tonge Moor Health Centre.

The couple were surprised but thrilled to be called up, and said they felt ‘privileged’.

Mrs Clubley said: “We weren’t expecting it until January, but we feel very privileged to be the first.

“As soon as we heard about the vaccine, we were happy to offer our arms over! We are very supportive of vaccination.”

Both are usually quite active people in the community.

Michael loves his gardening and is a regular at all BWFC home matches under normal circumstances. Ann usually volunteers at her local RSPCA shop and reads to children at her local primary school. She also attends a Thai Chi class.

However, the pandemic has meant that they could only enjoy walks together and catch up with friends via video calls.

The couple have two daughters and one grandson, and they have missed socialising with their family.

Mrs Clubley added: “We have managed, but it’s not been the same. I feel sorry for people who aren’t as mobile as us.

“Our daughters both work with the public so they have been protecting us by not seeing us as they normally would do. We know we could still get the virus but having the vaccine will give us the confidence to see our two girls. They are thrilled for us!”

The first phase of Covid vaccinations in Bolton is being held at Tonge Moor Health centre, Thicketford Road by appointment only.

Six GP practices are part of this first phase, and form Turton Primary Care Network. Primary Care Networks are made up of several practices working together to manage the health of their local population.

Senior Responsible Officer for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Bolton, and Clinical Director of Commissioning at Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Helen Wall, said:

“It’s fantastic to see Mr and Mrs Clubley receiving their vaccination, and they mark the first couple of many to be getting the best protection from the virus today.

“We have all pulled together to make this historic event happen in just a few short days, and I’m very proud to be leading such a dedicated team. We received 975 doses for this first phase, and we are fully booked!”

I commend the hard work and sacrifices everyone has made to see us through to this vital stage in our response to the virus.

Bolton Council Leader, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “This is truly wonderful news both for those receiving the vaccine today and for everyone in our borough.

“We have been hit hard by this pandemic but I commend the hard work and sacrifices everyone has made to see us through to this vital stage in our response to the virus.

“Quite rightly, our older and more vulnerable residents will receive the vaccine first.

“In the meantime, I urge everyone to be patient and stick to the rules so we can put this behind us.”