More than £500 spent per jab given at Covid vaccine festival

A person receiving a Covid-19 jab

A festival was held in Poplar last summer to encourage people to get Covid jabs - Credit: PA

Tower Hamlets Council spent hundreds of pounds per person who was jabbed at a festival aimed at increasing the uptake of Covid vaccines.

The event at Langdon Park in Poplar was organised by the authority and ran from July 30 to August 2 last year.

It featured live music and free food vouchers for festivalgoers but a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the council has revealed that the festival cost the council £237,235 to run.

This included a stage, live performers, food stands and centres for getting the Covid vaccine. 

Langdon Park.

The vaccine festival was held in Langdon Park - Credit: Ken Mears

But only 435 people were jabbed during the festival, meaning the council spent £535.36 per vaccine.

The FOI request also showed the council did not record how many people attended the festival in total.

A council spokesperson said every vaccine given to residents "helps prevent severe illness from Covid-19, build immunity and keep people safe".

Tower Hamlets has seen one of the lowest uptakes of vaccines in the UK throughout the pandemic and vaccination rates in the borough remain low.

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Just 55.7 per cent of residents have had all three Covid vaccines, according to official government figures.

This is notably lower than the UK national average of 67.6 per cent.

Only 74.6pc of Tower Hamlets residents have had the first coronavirus vaccine and 70.8pc have had their second since the rollout began last year.

This is significantly lower than the UK-wide average of 91.9pc and 86pc respectively.

The council spokesperson said the authority has worked hard to keep the borough safe throughout the pandemic.

This included vaccinating as many residents as possible and working to address vaccine hesitancy, they added.

“The vaccine event at Langdon Park, funded by Covid-19 grants from central government, was set up to help vaccinate young residents, where data was showing a low uptake in this group.

"Councils across the country have been actively encouraged to use funding to deliver vaccines in new and innovative ways, which is important in efforts to address vaccine hesitancy and low uptake in particular groups.

“We continue to work to increase vaccination rates through novel approaches including our mobile vaccination bus, events, and clinics in community spaces.”