Ethnic communities not taking up Covid jabs, Tower Hamlets Mayor warns

More people urged to take up Covid vaccine jabs in the East End

More people are urged to have Covid vaccine jabs in the East End - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Asian and black people eligible for the Covid vaccination are failing to take up the offer in the East End, which has led to an appeal by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets urging them to have the jab. 

So far 8,000 people have been inoculated since vaccination centres were set up. 

Mayor John Biggs... urging ethnic families to take up Covid vaccines

Mayor John Biggs is warning black and ethnic families lag behind taking up Covid vaccines - Credit: Mike Brooke

“But the take-up among ethnic communities for the vaccine is significantly lower than other groups,” Mayor John Biggs told Tower Hamlets council. 

“The aim is to vaccinate people in the first four priority groups by mid-February, with residents being contacted directly about appointments.  

“We are lobbying for locally-vulnerable groups and key workers to be given better priority for vaccination.” 


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Rapid tests for those without symptoms but who still want to be tested have been set up at the Mile End ecology pavilion in Grove Road and at Poplar’s Burcham Street community centre for key workers or anyone who still has to go out to work. This is in addition to normal testing sites such as Watney Market public library in Commercial Road. 

Mayor Biggs (top centre) addresses Tower Hamlets Council online Zoom meeting

Mayor John Biggs (top centre) addresses Tower Hamlets Council online Zoom meeting, warning more deaths are likely from the Covid virus - Credit: Zoom

Numbers of infections are beginning to stabilize but still remain high, councillors were told. There were 2,200 new infections recorded over the past seven days, the 27th highest rate in the  country and the ninth highest in London.  

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Deaths recorded in Tower Hamlets in the first week of January reached 26.  

“Sadly this would have increased since then,” the mayor predicted. “It’s clear that far too many people are getting infected even with the new current lockdown. This will tragically translate into more deaths.” 

Nick Hague, headteacher of Marner Primary

One of those who died was headteacher Nick Hague - Credit: LBTH (inset) and Google

Those who died from Covid-19 included the popular headteacher of Marner Primary in Bromley-by-Bow, Nick Hague, 53, who had already closed the school early because of staff affected by the virus. 

“It’s vital that we all stick to the restrictions until we’re confident that vaccine protection is sufficient,” the mayor urged. “We continue working with police to enforce regulations against the irresponsible minority who flout the rules and put the community at greater risk.” 

The council has delivered 6,000 meal parcels so far to encourage more people to stay at home, as well as supporting food banks while 18,000 children have received parcels or vouchers during school closures.  

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