Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville celebrates the achievements of pop-up vaccination clinics and urges residents to come forward and get their Covid-19 vaccine

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville

Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, said: “It’s been a worrying few weeks for us all, and the new Covid-19 Omicron variant has once again provided a stark reminder that we are still in the depths of a deadly pandemic that continues to affect our lives and those of our loved ones. In Hackney alone, our infection rates have increased by almost 50% and the Homerton hospital has reported that bed occupancy by Covid patients has risen by a staggering 40%.

“I support the new restrictions that have been brought in around mask wearing, working from home and the use of Covid passes to enter some venues, because the highly-transmissible Omicron variant is a huge threat to us all and our safety. It is also starting to have an impact on our local economy and wellbeing in the run up to Christmas.

“None of this is easy and I know for so many, what a long,nearly two years, this has been. This week I have been isolating and taking daily lateral flow tests after being alerted that I’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. While that period is nearly over, the news has meant I’ve had to quickly adapt my schedule and hand over duties that required my physical presence to colleagues, so I can work from home and prevent potentially spreading the virus if I am found to have it as well. Last weekend I also booked and had my booster jab.

“I’m following our 4 steps for Covid wellbeing that we’ve been promoting to residents to ensure we protect ourselves, those around us and stop the spread of virus:

Stay home: Stay at home if you feel unwell and take a PCR test

Stay safe: Hands, face, space, ventilate and work from home if you can to stop the spread of the virus

Get vaccinated: Get your Covid-19 and flu vaccinations

Get tested: Take regular rapid tests

“Exactly a year ago we celebrated the first Hackney resident to get the vaccine, it was an honour to meet 83 year old Joesphine and share that moment of hope. So, I was disappointed not to be able to attend our most recent pop-up vaccination clinic in the Kings Park area on Wednesday, but thanks to colleagues including Cllr Kennedy who did attend, I heard how busy and needed it was. 

“The clinic was set up as part of our wider outreach work to reduce the low vaccination rates in Hackney. There are still over 100,000 people in the borough who are yet to come forward for their first dose of the vaccine and are much more likely to get seriously ill, admitted to hospital or lose their life if they get Covid-19. 

“I was delighted to hear that in less than four hours, thanks to the herculean efforts of our NHS colleagues and Council staff, over 170 people received their vaccination at the event.

“We’re also seeing further success in raising vaccination rates elsewhere in the borough. The weekly Spring Hill Practice pop-up vaccination clinic in Stamford Hill has now administered over 900 vaccinations and will continue to serve the local community in January.

“I want to thank all those in the past year who have been a part of this effort from the Council, local NHS, local pharmacies, community champions and Hackney Vax Pack volunteers, they have done so much to keep Hackney safe and get people vaccinated.

“I understand that many still feel nervous about the vaccine which is why we’ve been supporting residents to get the answers they need to feel confident in their decision to get vaccinated. Our Public Health team have been responding to enquiries throughout the pandemic, we’ve hosted in-person Q&A events with GPs and more recently we hosted three webinars specifically around vaccinating pregnant women, those with underlying health conditions and 12-15 year olds. I attended the most recent one and learnt a lot, so if you have concerns you can watch them all on our YouTube Channel and I hope these will provide the reassurance you need to get your vaccination as soon as possible.

“We’ll continue to do everything in our power to keep you safe and if you need free support to help you self-isolate, get vaccinated or get a test, the Council will help you.

“I urge everyone to get fully vaccinated against Covid-19 if you haven’t already, the risks of being unvaccinated are too great and it is the most important thing any of us can do to hasten the end to this pandemic.”

More information on where to get the vaccine, testing and self-isolation support.