Stockport County choose Covid-19 Vaccine as second line of defence this season

Players and the manager of Stockport County have urged people in the borough to have their Covid-19 vaccinations after attending a pop-up vaccination clinic.

Stockport County choose Covid-19 Vaccine as second line of defence this season

Ahead of the new season, after training the Hatters visited one of the borough’s vaccination pop-up sites at Heaton Mersey Mosque to see how the NHS programme has been progressing.

Handling the shots, newly signed goalkeeper, Ethan Ross received his first Pfizer vaccine and manager Simon Rusk had his second. Also showing their support for the programme was goalkeeper Ben Hinchcliffe and centre midfielder Jordan Keane, who have already received both their vaccinations and came to praise the teams administering them, keeping the borough safe.

Gaffer Simon Rusk said: “The vaccine is the best line of defence we have against Covid-19, so we’re urging everyone in Stockport to get vaccinated. Football has seen too many disruptions over the last 18 months with cancelled games and fans stopped from entering the stands, the more we can reduce this, the better. We need the whole of Stockport behind us as we push for promotion, so the more fans who get the vaccine the safer they’ll be at our games.”

New goalkeeper Ethan Ross said: “Sadly the pandemic is far from over and with the new season about to start, we’re excited to welcome fans back into the stands to enjoy the beautiful game. During the Euros, the nation realised just how much it had missed football and spectator sports and as we head out of summer, these special mass spectator events, could again be at jeopardy again. So, the more people who get the vaccine the less it will impact the game and the more it will help to keep people safe.”

“It’s easy for people to access the vaccine either through one of the pop-up clinics like us or by booking online. It didn’t hurt, I was in and out so quickly, and it was very well organised. I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t had their jab, or who needs their second jab, to have it as soon as possible to protect themselves and hopefully help us to continue to enjoy the freedoms we’ve been enjoying this summer.”

NHS Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is now offering vaccinations to those aged 16+ at its regular pop-up clinics, subject to eligibility. The national booking line will also soon be offering vaccinations to this age group online or by calling 119 soon, with the current age limit for advance bookings being 17 and within 3 months of their 18th birthday.

Councillor Jude Wells, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health at Stockport Council, said: “It is vital that all our residents are vaccinated and benefit from the protection it offers because now we are enjoying more freedom like getting back to the football and fewer restrictions the virus will have more chances to thrive.

“Stockport County play a key role in our town and are at the heart of our community with amazing support from fans and residents. I hope that, with the club supporting and promoting our vaccine programme, more people will come forward to be vaccinated.

“We know Covid-19 can impact anyone, including fit and healthy footballers. The Hatters will benefit from additional protection from the virus and will hopefully enjoy training and match days with minimum disruption over the season.

"Every vaccination is another goal in our clash against the virus, another player in the defensive wall stopping us from conceding and takes us even closer to the final whistle.”

Rishi Bhatia, Pharmacist at Scorah Chemist who ran the pop-up clinic for the CCG, said: “It was amazing to be able to help protect the staff and players of Stockport County as the new season kicked off.

“It’s really important to get more people, especially young men, vaccinated in Stockport and it's great to see the Hatters leading the attack by getting their vaccinations.

“We're asking everyone in Stockport to help themselves and other people in the community to do their bit to stay well and be able to enjoy the coming football season.”

Dr Cath Munro, Chair of NHS Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s brilliant that the Hatters have supported our vaccination programme and are encouraging fans to get the jab. Getting vaccinated is the best way of getting back to normal, and I encourage everyone, including all young people aged 16+, to make sure they get their first vaccination now.

“Also remember to get the second dose of the vaccine which gives the maximum protection against COVID-19, if eight weeks have passed since your first dose.”

For further details on where those now eligible can get the vaccine in the borough, visit the CCG website.