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