There’s a push to help hundreds of Orthodox Jewish residents get their Covid vaccinations with a couple of pop-up clinics in Clapton.
The clinics have been arranged by the North East London Clinical Commissioning Group and Hackney Council, which have worked with the Clapton-based emergency first aid charity Hatzola and crime prevention and public safety charity Shomrim.
Rabbi Herschel Gluck, Shomrim’s chairman said: “As we approach Rosh-Ha’Shonoh, it is an appropriate time to increase our zechusim-merits. By taking the vaccine, we protect oneself and others and facilitate that we should be able to serve Hashem in good health.”
The drive is being backed by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations and it is hoped that as many people as possible can use the opportunity to get vaccinated in the run-up to Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year, next month.
The majority of the borough’s Orthodox Jewish population is under 30 and the vaccine has now been rolled out to every eligible adult in the country.
According to a recent CCG report, young Orthodox Jewish residents aged 20-24 in North Hackney were “likely” to be amongst the groups with the lowest take-up rates.
Young people are also amongst the last to be offered the vaccine.
By 25 July, 51 per cent of the borough’s 16-39-year-olds had been vaccinated, with 74,019 people unvaccinated.
Stamford Hill, which has a large Jewish population, had the borough’s lowest vaccination rates – ranging between 44 and 48 per cent – at the end of July.
According to the most recent data, the Stamford Hill West ward had 19 cases in the week ending 10 August – an increase of 36 per cent on the previous week.
The number of patients in hospital with Covid is also going up. There was an average of 30 Covid patients at Homerton Hospital each day in the week to 10 August, with four of them on ventilators.
This is an increase of seven per cent on the previous week, when there were three patients on ventilators and 25 others suffering from covid. It is also the highest number of weekly cases since April, after the end of the second wave of the pandemic.
Medical experts will be on hand at the clinics to answer people’s questions about the vaccine and address any concerns they may have.
Young people told public health researchers in Hackney that they wanted to “hear answers to their concerns and questions from a trusted source like a doctor, medical professional, graduate or trainee.”
They will be able to get their first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Devoiri Eisenzweig, from Hatzola, said it was important to bring the vaccine to the centre of the community: “We hope this opportunity will be taken up by the community.”
Hackney’s cabinet member for health, Cllr Chris Kennedy, urged people to come along and get their questions about the vaccine.
He said: “It’s important everybody gets the Covid-19 vaccine to keep themselves, their family and their community safe.”
The Town Hall is keen to get the vaccine message across to encourage people to get the jabs, including sending WhatsApp messages to Community Champions to help them spread the word.