The capital has been profoundly affected by Covid-19. We have seen more than 700,000 confirmed cases, and we have tragically lost more than 18,000 family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
The virus has exacerbated health inequalities, with our Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities disproportionately affected. Almost 12 months on from the first national lockdown, we remember those who are no longer with us, and pay tribute to those who have sacrificed so much in the battle against this virus.
Hope is on the horizon, and this March looks very different to last year. Soon, we could be meeting friends and families in gardens. By mid-April outdoor dining and gyms could re-open. Things will improve, as we manage life with the coronavirus. This all rests on cases remaining in low numbers and on uptake of Covid-19 vaccination, which has now reached more than 22 million people in England.
Independently tested, safe and are effective
Right now, nearly two in five Londoners who are at a higher risk of serious illness and death from this virus have not come forward for the jab, despite evidence that it will save lives and get us back to the things and people we love.
We know some people have questions about vaccination, because of a lack of trust, wanting more information about long-term impact, or because of historic experience. Others want more time to understand the facts.
The NHS, local councils, communities and faith groups are doing everything possible to give reassurance that the vaccines are independently tested, safe and are effective in saving lives.
The NHS is providing access to vaccination at convenient times and in more than 200 locations in the capital – from larger sites like Crystal Palace and the Science Museum, to pop-up clinics in churches and mosques, to high street pharmacies, GP surgeries and shopping centres.
We now need your help. If you are aged 50 or over, are a carer or have certain underlying health conditions you can get a vaccine by calling 119 or booking online. We want everyone who is eligible to book an appointment without delay, so we can protect the people who need it most with the vaccine supplies available this month.
When it’s your turn, please get vaccinated
The Covid-19 vaccines are safe, effective and will give you the best protection from coronavirus. The NHS has already given millions of vaccinations across the capital – join the Londoners who have had their jab by booking your vaccination appointment today.
If you’ve had it already, encourage others to do the same. Direct friends and family to trusted sources of information about the vaccine at www.nhs.uk and persuade anyone with concerns to speak to their GP or a trusted health professional. Remember, it’s not too late to get protected.
If you live in London and are aged over 50, you are a carer, or have an underlying health condition, you can book your appointment by:
- Visiting nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
Or by calling 119 for free between 7am-11pm, seven days a week.
You can book your appointment at a vaccination centre or a community pharmacy. The COVID-19 vaccination sites are run by NHS professionals and have extra measures in place to keep you safe during your visit. You do not need your NHS number.
The sooner we are all vaccinated, the sooner we can get London back to normal.
Text extracted and adapted from an open letter to Londoners, asking for their support in getting the capital vaccinated. Published by The NHS in London – together with the Mayor of London, Public Health England London and London Councils.