* Update 210621: despite government promises that it would stick to what became known as Freedom Day, the latest stage in the schedule of measures to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the day was moved to Monday 19 July 2021. This, said the Prime Minister, would allow for more vaccinations to be carried out. He gave no details of how the issue raised in the article below would be solved
THOUSANDS OF Hackney over-60 residents are refusing the Covid-19 vaccine. The council has revealed that 17,000 of the most at-risk residents — “the over-60s [and the] clinically extremely vulnerable” — have not taken the vaccine, putting them in danger of serious illness, hospitalisation or premature death.
Black and black British people are the majority of Hackneyites in that age group who are declining inoculation. They are susceptible to anti-vax arguments ranging from the extreme Bill-Gates-is-out-to-get-you conspiracy theory to a claim that the authorities have not given the public enough information about either the pandemic or the vaccine , despite months of professional news outlets reporting on little else.
Unfortunately, cases in the City and Hackney Health Authority area have more than doubled in the last week, putting young people at risk of Covid-19 and even the vaccinated in danger of infection. Accordingly, the government is increasingly likely to postpone the next big easing of restrictions, the so-called Freedom Day, scheduled for 21 June 2021.
Rather than aim at the people comprising the most refuseniks, as Hackney MP Diane Abbott and other MPs have done, the borough’s deputy director of public health, Chris Lovitt, has inexplicably made a general not a targeted appeal.
He said: “Cases are rising again, and we are seeing the Delta variant spread more easily through unvaccinated populations… we have 17,000 over-60s and clinically extremely vulnerable people in Hackney who are still not vaccinated.”
Most of the Hackney residents now hospitalised with Covid-19 were, he added, unvaccinated.
Vaccinated Hackneyites will feel for them, as they suffer an awful disease. Let us hope they see sense.
David Altheer 120621
* For information on Hackney’s vaccination programme press this council link.
* Pictures © DavidAltheer@gmail.com. All available for sale via that eddress. Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink.
* Links to articles in the Guardian do not imply any approval of the newspaper’s historic involvement with slavery.