London walk in vaccination hub to close early due to England final

8 July 2021, 16:46

A walk in vaccination centre in Hackney will close early on Sunday after Harry Kane fired England into the Euro 2020 final.
A walk in vaccination centre in Hackney will close early on Sunday after Harry Kane fired England into the Euro 2020 final. Picture: PA

By Joe Cook

A walk-in vaccination centre in Hackney, north-east London, has announced it will close early on Sunday after England reached the final of Euro 2020.

England's win over Denmark on Wednesday evening has set up their first final in a major men's football tournament since 1966. Gareth Southgate's team will face Italy at 8pm on Sunday at Wembley.

With the nation gripped by football fever, Hackney Council has cancelled plans to hold 9am to 7pm walk-in jabs on the same day at Hackney Service Centre.

Instead, the clinic will close at 3pm, with the council citing "expected low demand" and a desire to "avoid vaccine wastage" as the reasons behind the decision.

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A council spokesperson told LBC: "A staff member will be on-site until 7pm on the Sunday however to support people to book a vaccine appointment at one of Hackney's other vaccine clinics."

Earlier on Thursday, Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville announced that the borough had recorded its first death from Covid-19 since April.

Warning "this is not over" and that hospitalisations are increasing, he urged residents to get fully vaccinated and stick to social distancing rules.

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The decision to close the vaccination centre early due to the Euro 2020 game comes after experts suggested the competition could be behind an increase in infections in men.

Data from Imperial College London and Ipsos Mori shows a notable difference between the number of men and women testing positive for the virus for the first time.

Commenting on the findings, Steven Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics, said: "If I had to speculate about the impact of the Euros, I would first think about the possible impact - much much more broadly than around when we are around London - I would think about the increased probability that people are mixing inside more frequently than they otherwise would.

"So my first thought wouldn't immediately be to the stadium and the immediate surrounds, it would be about the more general behaviour of the population, but we don't have results that speak to that directly in this study."

He added: "Different things could be affecting it. I think the degree to which men and women are socialising is likely to be responsible.

"And then because of the timing of that, then it could be that watching football is resulting in men having more social activity than usual."

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The data from the React-1 study indicates infections have increased in all regions. Cases between June 24 and July 5 were four times higher than those recorded from May 20 to June 7, the last time the React-1 study was conducted.

The largest increase was in London, where prevalence has increased more than eightfold from 0.13% to 1.08%.