Redbridge and Havering lead East London for COVID vaccinations

Redbridge and Havering residents have received more COVID vaccines than anywhere else in east London, latest NHS figures reveal.

More than 266,000 COVID jabs have been given out in the seven east London boroughs as of February 18.

Of these, around 40 per cent were given to Redbridge and Havering residents, the two boroughs worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

East London has lagged behind the rest of England in vaccinating over-80s and the latest figures show around a quarter of these oldest residents have still not received a vaccine.

The NHS is asking anyone who is over 70, a health and care worker or was informed they are clinically extremely vulnerable by post to contact their GP if they have not been invited.

Havering has performed best at vaccinating the elderly, with its residents over 70 making up almost a third of those to have received a dose across east London.

Redbridge, however, has given out the most first and second doses of the vaccine, needed to provide proper protection against the virus.

Tower Hamlets has given out the lowest number of vaccines of any east London borough, with fewer than 10,000 over-70s having received their first dose.

The NHS aimed to offer everyone aged 70 or over, who works in health or social care or who is extremely vulnerable a vaccine by February 15.

However, campaigners have pointed out that homeless residents and other groups less likely to be registered with a GP will have been missed by this process.

A report prepared for Waltham Forest Council’s health scrutiny meeting next week noted that only around 40 per cent of the borough’s residential care staff had agreed to take the vaccine.

The report said this was “in line with the London average” but added that “further work is taking place” to encourage more people to accept a jab.

Earlier this week, Lea Bridge Road Mosque held a “pop-up” COVID vaccine clinic, aiming to reassure residents who had refused the virus that it was safe and halal.

The Chingford GP who ran the clinic described it as “very successful”, after 130 doses were given out in two hours, and the NHS suggests there may be similar clinics elsewhere in future.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter