Health workers and volunteers at the forefront of vaccine roll-out in London are being physically verbally abused by anti-Vaxxers, it may turn out.
These range from vaccination buses targeted by anti-jab protesters for delivering jabs to “hard-to-reach” communities, often on public housing, to online abuse and threatening calls to community call centers.
Martin Machray, Joint Head Nurse at NHS London, said: “I’m for people who have their say. But we cannot tolerate our employees and our colleagues and friends being verbally and physically abused by people who do not agree with our work. It’s a small minority, but there are more and more incidents.
“It’s absolutely shocking – not just what we saw at the CMO [Professor Whitty] on the news – but the locals are volunteering to do good things to make sure the city is vaccinated and that is absolutely unbearable, especially given what the city has been through for the past 18 months. “
The Standard was told that incidents had occurred in Penge and north-west London, usually during “hyperlocal” initiatives to reach people reluctant to stand up for a sting.
Covid-19 vaccine is prepared
/ PA wire
Danny Thorpe, chairman of Greenwich Council, told the London Health Department, “I think we all, including, unfortunately, Professor Whitty, have seen this type of anti-Vax brigade top-up group appear.
“While there are more of us than there are of them, our absolute appeal is that we work with the Metropolitan Police to ensure these incidents are addressed.
“All of us at the local level, the more we get involved, the more we run into problems and it’s incredibly unhelpful.”
But in better news, the board was told that more than nine million vaccinations had been administered in London, according to unofficial data that Mr Machray has seen.
But in better news, the board was told that more than nine million vaccinations had been administered in London, according to unofficial data that Mr Machray has seen
Official statistics from NHS England show that 8,665,818 first and second doses had been given in the capital by the end of Monday – meaning that by July 19, it took more than 2.8 million more stitches to meet the Prime Minister’s goals to offer a first dose to everyone over the age of 18 and double jabbing to two-thirds of adults.
According to official figures, only 41,930 vaccinations were given in London on Monday. But Mr Machray insisted that the capital was “on track” to meet the target and said, “We have now given London more than nine million vaccines.
“Since December 8th, when it started in London – in Croydon – we’ve been vaccinating a Londoner every two seconds, 24 hours a day.”
But he said it was necessary to address “complacency” among younger Londoners. More than 2,000 Covid cases were diagnosed in London on Tuesday, one of the highest daily numbers since February, with the highest rates in the 20- to 24-year-old age group.
Mr. Machray said, “A lot of younger people have said, ‘I live forever, I don’t need any of these vaccines’. They do. Please come forward. We have to fight this complacency. We are making great strides, but we still have more work to do. “