Huge crowd descends on London's Chinatown for Covid jabs on 'vaccine bus'

28 May 2021, 12:09

Huge crowds packed into the streets in Chinatown
Huge crowds packed into the streets in Chinatown. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Police intervened after a vaccine bus event drew a huge crowd in London's Chinatown yesterday.

Westminster Council said the bus had been deployed to make it easier to provide potentially life-saving jabs "to everyone."

Pictures from Chinatown showed hundreds of people packed on streets on Thursday afternoon.

It followed a post on the website of the Chinese Information and Advice Centre, a registered charity.

The post said a vaccine bus was coming to Chinatown on Thursday, that undocumented migrants would be "welcomed" and no NHS number, proof of address or personal identification would be required.

It also asks for people to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

It is unclear how much impact the post had on people who attended the event.

Onlookers saw a number of police officers arrive to begin dispersing the gathering.

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Westminster Council said it has since revised its system after becoming aware about how many people went to the event.

The Metropolitan Police said: "While officers were on patrol in the Gerrard Street area, they became aware of a large gathering.

"They engaged with the organisers about how to safely manage their event and worked with them to disperse the crowd safely."

A spokesman for Westminster Council said: "We are committed to supporting the NHS and making the vaccine available to all communities within Westminster.

"The vaccine bus will make it easier to reach the heart of our diverse communities, providing the opportunity of a life-saving vaccine to everyone."

A spokesperson for North West London CCG said: "Getting the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against COVID-19 and we remain committed to working with the local community to ensure all those who are eligible can receive their vaccine."