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London-wide discussion about COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Pictures of Nadhim Zahawi MP, Leader of Westminster City Council Rachael Robathan, and Joint Chief Regional Nurse for London,  Martin Machray

Published: 9 March 2021

Westminster City Council is hosting a London-wide event about COVID-19 vaccination

We will be joined by the Minister for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi, to provide Londoners with all the facts surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Research shows that 22% of British adults are unlikely to take a vaccine against COVID-19 (Ipsos-MORI poll. Base: 1,049 Online British adults 18-75, 13-16 November 2020) and whilst eight in ten white Londoners say they are likely to get the vaccine (76%), only 52% of Asian Londoners and 32% of black Londoners said they would get the vaccine (YouGov/GLA, ‘It was announced last week that an effective COVID-19 vaccine has been developed by Pfizer. When the Pfizer vaccine becomes available on the NHS, how likely or unlikely are you to take it?’ 24-27 November, Online. Base 1028 adults in London).

To help arm people with the facts around the vaccination rollout, particularly across London, participants will be able to pose questions to the Minister live on the night. Martin Machray, Joint Chief Regional Nurse for London will also be on the panel and will be there to answer any medical questions or concerns about the vaccine.

The event is an #AskWestminster special, an initiative the council is running to help support residents by answering questions on the vaccine sent in via email and social media. Some of the topics and questions the council has received so far, which will be discussed at the event, include:

  1. Which vaccine is currently being used in Westminster?
  2. Can I choose which vaccine I can take?
  3. I’ve heard there are supply issues with the vaccine, how are you managing that?
  4. How are you ensuring people can easily get to their vaccine appointments in Westminster?
  5. Will we have to have an annual booster vaccine?

Anti-vaccination propaganda and rumour is another contributing factor to the low uptake of the vaccine within some local community groups, which is why this event is important to help boost vaccine uptake and to provide residents with the factual information on the vaccine rollout to reassure them.

Following on from the successful panel discussion the council hosted last month with Lord Simon Woolley and other local voices to help reach those within the BAME community – which saw over 5,400 people tune in – this event is a continuation of the council’s work to encourage overall vaccination uptake within local communities across the borough.

The live-stream event, taking place on Wednesday 10th March 2021 will be a panel discussion between the Leader of the Council, Rachael Robathan and the Minister for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi MP, along with Martin Machray, Joint Chief Regional Nurse for London.

Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council, said:

“We know that the route out of lockdown, and to open up our city again safely, is by rolling out the vaccination programme as quickly as possible. We understand some people in London and Westminster have valid concerns about having the vaccine and this, paired with some of the dangerous anti-vaccination propaganda we have seen being circulated, creates a problem for us when it comes to uptake in the vaccine.

“It is our job to work with the local community and health professionals to ensure the right information reaches our residents. It is no secret that there has, to date, been lower take up of the vaccine among some of our residents in Westminster, so I’m hoping these community panel events, which provide an open-forum for people to talk to us about the genuine questions and concerns they have, will help encourage even more people to take the vaccine and help protect the lives of our residents.”

The live-stream event will take place on Wednesday 10th March 2021 6.30pm to 7.30pm. This is a non-ticketed event that can be joined via Facebook, YouTube and on the council website.

More information and how to join the event

Notes to Editors:

  • Attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions to our panel of experts and community leaders following the main panel discussion.
  • Londoners can submit questions prior to the event on the Eventbrite registration form
  • Please note, to pose questions to the panel during the event  participants must stream the event via Westminster City Council’s Facebook page.
  • Following the event, a recording will be posted on our website.