Alarm bells should be ringing over Londoners not taking the vaccine, say MPs


Ps were today raising concerns that tens of thousands of vulnerable Londoners were being “left behind” by the vaccine roll-out.

Up to a dozen of the capital’s MPs were taking part in a parliamentary debate this morning on vaccine take-up rates in London, led by Hammersmith Labour MP Andy Slaughter.

Mr Slaughter said that, despite an “exemplary effort” to vaccinate the UK population at pace, less than 80 per cent of people aged 65 to 69 in north-west London had received a first dose. In east London, the latest figure is 75.8 per cent — the lowest in the country.

He said that in some ethnic communities take-up was “below 50 per cent” and added: “That should be ringing alarm bells in Whitehall and it’s certainly ringing alarm bells locally.”

Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North, said there was only 69 per cent take-up of the vaccine in her constituency – the second worst figure in the country.

“It’s a particular concern because the central London economy is so critical to our national economic revival,” she told the hearing.

Catherine West, Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, said she had been told by a GP that he had phoned 30 patients in a day who were reluctant to have the jab. “Of these, only one person was keen to take the vaccine. That is the kind of hostility we are seeing,” she said.

Feryal Clark, Labour MP for Enfield North, said many of her constituents were on the wrong side of the “digital divide”. She said: “Expecting an 80-year-old Kurdish woman to book an appointment over the internet is not going to happen.”

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