London MPs calling for 'fair share' of Covid vaccine in letter to Hancock

29 January 2021, 14:47

London MPs calling for 'fair share' of Covid vaccine in letter to Hancock
London MPs calling for 'fair share' of Covid vaccine in letter to Hancock. Picture: PA/LBC

By Fiona Jones

Labour's Meg Hillier explains why she is one of the London MPs to write to Matt Hancock over the "patchy" rollout of the Covid jab in the capital.

A group of London MPs have written to the health secretary to raise concerns about the rollout of the Covid vaccines in the capital.

Labour MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch Meg Hillier, one of the signatories, branded the distribution in different areas as "patchy."

"Crucially we want to know the data, we want to know how many are coming to our areas, who's getting them and we've only recently learnt there's not enough data yet to tackle that very important issue: whether some groups are getting the vaccine or turning it down."

Ms Hillier said it is important that MPs understand the vaccine uptake within different ethnic groups: "We've been promised repeatedly we'll get this information and it hasn't come so we just thought we needed to get writing to the Secretary of State and get it moved along a bit so we can keep an eye on our own areas."

Shelagh agreed, acknowledging that some members of black and ethnic minority groups have expressed concern to LBC over taking the vaccine, with a recent report finding 72% of black Britons are unlikely to have a Covid jab.

Shelagh countered that the number of people of any ethnicity telling pollsters they are willing to have it seems to far exceed this concern.

"That's why local information is very important and that can be very local within London," said the Labour MP.

"London is more ethnically diverse than lots of parts of the country, so we're very concerned that we get our fair share...because of the impacts on people from some ethnic backgrounds where they're far more likely to die or get seriously ill as a result of getting Covid.

"After such a long period of lockdown it is absolutely right that people, particularly in the over-60s bracket, get that vaccine."