Over 300 members of the Charedi community in Hackney received the Covid-19
vaccine at a special vaccination event organised by the local community and NHS City and Hackney GP Confederation. Supported by NHS City and Hackney CCG, Hackney Council, Strengthening Faith Institutions and the Ostro Fayre Share Foundation, the event sought to vaccinate those in the top priority groups, as outlined by the JCVI, from Hackney’s Charedi community.
The vaccinations were carried out by local GPs from within the community as well as volunteers fromthe community’s emergency first responder service, Hatzola, which oversaw the administration of theevent. Hatzola volunteers, who have been supporting the London Ambulance Service throughout the pandemic, received special training in order to administer the vaccines.
Laura Sharpe, CEO at the City and Hackney NHS GP Confederation has said:
“Taking the vaccine is the most effective way for people to protect themselves from Covid-19 so we’re delighted by the success of last night’s event to increase uptake in Hackney’s Charedi community. It is testament to the hard work of all those involved, especially the local voluntary sector. Whether you have had a vaccine or not, it is really important to continue to follow government guidance and to keep your distance – that means sticking to the ‘hands, face, space’ advice.”
Binyomin Stern, President of the Union of Orthodox Congregations and a Trustee of Hatzola, said:
“Across the community, we understand the urgent need for as many people as possible to be vaccinated. There has already been a high take-up of the vaccine from within the priority groups across the community and we are very grateful to Hackney Council and Hackney CCG for helping us organise this vaccination event.
“At Hatzola, we have been proud to play our part and support the NHS during such a challenging period. We are, likewise, pleased to participate in the vaccination programme and help vaccinate as many people as possible. Our fantastic, hard-working volunteers give up their own time to volunteer with us and we are hugely thankful for the dedication they have shown over the past year.”
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney said:
“This vaccination event with the Charedi community is a great example of grassroots groups working together to help keep people safe from coronavirus. We are hoping to replicate this work with other voluntary groups and communities; harnessing Hackney’s wonderful community spirit and the knowledge within our diverse communities to ensure people from all sorts of backgrounds are able to access the vaccine.”
Joel Friedman of the Interlink Foundation said:
“This trial event is a display of how a community can come together, with the support of the NHS and local and national government to deliver on our united goal of making vaccination more accessible.
We hope to see more of such events in the near future and to continue this collaborative approach in supporting local communities across the country.”
Maurice Ostro OBE, Chair of the Ostro Fayre Share Foundation, said:
“It is great to see so many people from the Charedi community receiving the vaccine this evening.
They are role models in the fight against COVID-19 by showing that they have not been swayed by fearmongering or misinformation.
“All of us have a role to play in beating COVID, and I’m pleased that Strengthening Faith Institutions has been able to help the Charedi community as well as other minority communities across England to deal with the pandemic.”
The four-hour evening event follows the announcement of the new COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Plan that aims to boost vaccine uptake in vulnerable and underserved groups. Published on Saturday, the plan sets out how the Government and NHS England are partnering with directors of public health, charities and the faith sector to increase vaccine take up and ensure equal access.
From tomorrow (Monday) NHS staff will begin vaccinating people aged 65 to 69 and those who are clinically vulnerable against Covid. Those who are eligible and have received a letter can arrange a vaccination through the national booking service which can be accessed at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination.
Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week.If a suitable and convenient slot is not available people can also wait to be called by their local GP vaccination service.