By Joe Talora, Local Democracy Reporter
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called on the Government to scale up vaccine supply after it was revealed that the capital has only received one tenth of the vaccines supplied to the UK.
The Mayor will today meet vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi to discuss the situation and request that London receives enough vaccines to reflect “the level of need in our city”.
New data released today revealed that, of 2.3 million jabs given between December 8 and January 10, only 237,524 were given in London.
Sadiq Khan said: “I am hugely concerned that Londoners have received only a tenth of the vaccines that have been given across the country.
“The situation in London is critical, with rates of the virus extremely high, which is why it’s so important that vulnerable Londoners are given access to the vaccine as soon as possible.
“I have repeatedly called on the Government to scale up the vaccine supply, and will be meeting the Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment today to ensure that we urgently receive an amount of the vaccine that reflects our size, density and the level of need in our city.”
The slow start to London’s vaccine roll-out was revealed earlier this week by Regional Chief Nurse Martin Machray, who said: “Per head of population, we are not getting quite as much vaccine as maybe more rural parts of the country.”
Mr Machray also revealed the ambitious target to vaccinate one million Londoners by mid-February, which should reduce deaths and infections by up to 65 per cent.
There is growing clamour to expand the provision of vaccines in the capital to more front online workers to stop transmission of the virus as cases continue to rise in many boroughs.
Earlier this week, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick called for front line police officers to be “properly recognised” in the next phase of vaccinations.
This was brought up by Sadiq Khan in a letter to Nadhim Zahawi ahead of their meeting later today.
Mr Khan wrote: “The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends that phase two includes the roll-out of the vaccine to others delivering key public services, which I welcome, and which should include prioritisation of key workers, including teachers, Transport for London (TfL) staff and the Metropolitan Police, who might be more vulnerable to infection due to the public-facing nature of their work and because they cannot work from home.
“We also need to consider shop workers and others working on the front line.”
Although the number of new positive cases fell in 11 boroughs, experts have warned that the pressure on hospitals could continue for many weeks to come.
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