'We need more Covid vaccines,' Tower Hamlets mayor warns

One of the earliest Covid-19 vaccinations at a pop-up clinic held at Queen Mary University in Mile End

One of the earliest Covid-19 vaccinations at a pop-up clinic held at Queen Mary University in Mile End - Credit: Kois Miah

An appeal for more Covid jabs in Tower Hamlets has been made to the government to stop its vaccination programme from falling behind other areas. 

Mayor John Biggs has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling for steps to be made to make sure there are enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available, following the spread of the latest Covid-19 Delta variant. 

Mayor Biggs... "Need to do everything to drive up vaccination rates."

Mayor Biggs... "Need to do everything to drive up vaccination rates." - Credit: Mike Brooke

“We’ve set out steps the health secretary can take to support us,” he said in a statement to the East London Advertiser

“I urge him to do what he can to help get more of our people vaccinated as soon as possible.  

“The vaccine is now available to younger age groups and we need to do everything we can to drive up vaccination rates.” 

Mayor John Biggs... letter appealing to Health Secretary to ensure enough vaccines

Mayor John Biggs... letter appealing to the health secretary to ensure there are enough vaccines - Credit: Mike Brooke

The East End has a comparatively younger population than other places, and statistics have shown a lower take-up rate than other areas with a larger proportion of priority and older groups.


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The latest urgency is caused by infection rates increasing with the Delta variant, particularly with “the disproportionate impact” of Covid-19 in the East End.

In their letter, the mayor and his deputy Rachel Blake are urging the health secretary to take steps to make sure the vaccine supply keeps up. 

Deputy Mayor Rachel Blake...leading campaign to get everyone to have their jab

Deputy Mayor Rachel Blake...leading campaign to get everyone to have their jab - Credit: LBTH

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Cllr Blake, the cabinet member for Tower Hamlets’ public health, said: “It’s vital that we get as many young people vaccinated as possible now that vaccines are available, to help protect each other and prevent the spread of the virus.

"Infection rates are increasing nationally with the Delta variant, with a disproportionate impact of Covid-19 in the East End." 

The council is preparing a roving mobile clinic to find hard-to-reach communities and is urging the government to make sure there are sufficient vaccines available, as well as stepping up supplies to pharmacies. 

The next few weeks are crucial in containing outbreaks of the Delta variant, the mayor’s letter points out. Government ministers are being urged to set out a plan to address “inequalities in vaccine take up”.  

Vaccination at Queen Mary University pop-up clinic in Mile End

Vaccination at Queen Mary University pop-up clinic in Mile End - Credit: Kois Miah

Vaccination rates are now increasing, however, with 150,000 people in the East End having had their first jab.  


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