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Weekly update from Director of Public Health

Covid-19 in Tower Hamlets - Dr Somen Banerjee

Each week our Director of Public Health, Dr Somen Banerjee, publishes a Covid-19 update to keep residents and partners informed about Covid-19 locally in Tower Hamlets.

Thursday 5 August

The torrential rain last Friday didn’t stop our four-day vaccine festival at Langdon Park. The council’s public health team worked with Barts NHS Trust (who delivered vaccines) and event organisers Facevents, to create a fun atmosphere with live music and delicious food, where we vaccinated over 400 residents.

Our Covid-19 ambassadors were on the ground, joined by clinicians and community navigators to raise awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated and to help answer any questions or concerns people may have had – the fact the team spoke multiple languages was invaluable in having conversations in Bengali and Sylheti with our local residents. We also had one of our mobile testing units there too, so residents could take a rapid Covid-19 test and get their results back within 30 minutes.

Cases of Covid-19 continue to fall in the borough, last week the rate in Tower Hamlets was 365 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents, and this week it is 285 per 100,000 – a fall of over 20 per cent. Levels of Covid-19 in young age groups remains high but are starting to fall. Cases in the over 60s are also falling. There are also positive signs in the slowing of hospital admissions.

Since last week 3,000 more residents have had their first vaccination and 10,000 more have had their second dose. 199,000 people in Tower Hamlets have now had at least their first dose and 128,000 are fully vaccinated with two doses.

Nationally this week the Government announced that the vaccination programme will be extended to healthy 16 to 17 year-olds. This will not start immediately but is expected to start in the coming weeks.

At the end of last week, the Government also released its plans for the next phase of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. This next phase covers plans for vaccination, continuing to help people stay safe, testing, travel and responding to outbreaks.  

Here in Tower Hamlets, our vaccine clinic at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf has been extended and will run from 10am – 6pm today (Thursday 5 August) and Friday 6 August, offering both first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Remember the second dose must be at least eight weeks after the first. People can pop in without an appointment or book an appointment online. Keep an eye out for our engagement bus and Covid-19 Ambassadors who will be in the area too!

There are multiple sites people can get their vaccine, so whether it’s at East Wintergarden, Westfield shopping centre, a local pharmacy or the Art Pavilion in Mile End, go online, find your nearest site and book your appointment today.

Thank you for reading and stay safe.

Dr Somen Banerjee

Director of Public Health