Covid hero who did charity walk in Bow aged 100 now has vaccine
- Credit: LBTH
The 101-year-old local hero who walked 100 laps of his garden in Bow for charity while fasting for Ramadan last year has now had his Covid-19 vaccination.
Dabirul Choudhury—made an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours—had the first of his two jabs as Tower Hamlets Council campaigns for more vaccine take-up to stop misinformation circulating about its safety.
He made headlines in the East London Advertiser in May when he raised nearly £230,000 for coronavirus charities. Now he wants to encourage people to have the vaccination when offered by the NHS.
“I am grateful to have had my first dose of the vaccine,” he said. “It’s starting to feel like we’re heading in the right direction to have a bit more normality in our lives again.”
His advice follows revelations last week by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets that Asian and other ethnic communities in the East End were falling behind in taking up the vaccine. Dabirul points out:
“I am 101 years old and feel safe about getting the vaccine, so I hope it gives others confidence in getting it too. This pandemic has been tough for everyone, but this vaccine means we can soon start seeing our family and friends again.”
Around 9,000 people in groups 1 and 2 on the Tower Hamlets priority list have been vaccinated so far. But the local authority is trying to quash disinformation about the vaccine’s safety.
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Deputy mayor Rachel Blake, cabinet member for health, said: “We are aware there is some incorrect information, but the vaccine has met strict safety standards and gone through the clinical trials.”
Residents and staff in all care homes and those who are 80 and over as well as frontline health and social care workers in the East End have all been offered the jab, with 88 per cent of care home residents and 43pc staff now vaccinated.
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Dabirul was born on January 1, 1920, in British Assam, later part of India which became East Pakistan in 1947, today’s Bangladesh. He emigrated to London in 1957 to study English literature. Dabirul was inspired to make his charity walk by Second World War veteran Captain Tom Moore, also 100, who raised an astonishing £33m for charity.