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Date posted 23 Sep 2021

Getting the vaccine just got Better

Better, the charitable social enterprise that operates leisure and sports facilities across Manchester on behalf of Manchester City Council, has been invited to join Public Health England’s drive to boost the uptake of the Covid vaccination amongst young people.

Better operates under the MCRactive brand in Manchester and is the only leisure operator in the country to be involved in the initiative and joins a number of leading businesses across different sectors such as Asda, National Express and Uber, to have pledged their support for the UK’s vaccination programme, by offering incentives to vaccinated customers.

Anyone between the age of 16 and 30 years can get a £10 voucher to be used against any membership at a MCRactive leisure facility and a three-day free pass to any of its leisure centres or gyms between now and the end of September 2021.

Participating leisure centres in Manchester include:

  • Hough End Leisure Centre
  • Moss Side Leisure Centre
  • East Manchester Leisure Centre
  • Arcadia Library & Leisure Centre
  • Manchester Aquatics Centre
  • North City Family & Fitness Centre
  • Belle Vue Leisure Centre
  • Whalley Range Leisure Centre

In order to take up the offer, local residents in Manchester need to need to complete the form available on the Better website https://www.better.org.uk/healthy-communities and follow the simple instructions. Customers will need to present their vaccination card or alternative proof on their first visit to the centre.

Mark Sesnan, Managing Director at Better said:

“As soon as we heard about the campaign to incentivise young people to get vaccinated, we wanted to get involved.  As the UK’s largest operator of municipal leisure facilities, we know the value of regular exercise on our mental and physical health and this has been further highlighted during the pandemic.  We also know that having all adults double vaccinated plays a crucial role in our battle against COVID-19, so we wanted to help.

“We hope that by offering free passes and discount vouchers to our 235 gyms, leisure and sports centres across the UK, we will encourage many more young people to take up their vaccine.”

Councillor Joanna Midgley, Manchester City Council's executive member for Health and Care said:

"We want to reach as many young people as possible in our city to encourage them to get the vaccine, not just for their own benefit but for the benefit of all our residents.  I am delighted that our partners GLL are playing an important part in this vaccine roll out, incentivising young people in Manchester to get the jab with the bonus of fitness passes to our leisure centres."

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:

“Over 70% of young people aged 18 to 29 have now had their first jab – another superb milestone in our historic vaccination programme.

"A big thank you to all the companies who are helping us to protect the country – I urge everyone to get the jab and get shopping with these excellent discounts.”

Teenagers within three months of turning 18 can now book their vaccine appointment online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119. Vaccination sites across the country are working hard to complete the rollout with more than 300 sites already offering the jab to 16 and 17 year olds, including GP teams who began vaccinating eligible teens last week.

The latest data from Public Health England (PHE) and Cambridge University shows that vaccines have saved around 84,600 lives as well as preventing 23.4 million infections and 66,900 hospitalisations in England up to 6 August.

Data from PHE also shows COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, the dominant strain in the UK. The analysis shows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after two doses.

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