More than 150,000 over-18s in London received a first or second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine over the weekend as the capital makes the “final push” towards ending lockdown.
Football clubs including Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham and Charlton Athletic saw a huge response from Londoners as they opened their stadiums as mass vaccination centres over the weekend, with everyone over the age of 18 now eligible to come forward for a jab.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has hailed the “phenomenal effort” and has urged every adult in London to get vaccinated “as soon as possible”.
Mr Khan said: “From football stadiums to shopping centres, churches to community pharmacies, this weekend saw a phenomenal effort to get tens of thousands of Londoners vaccinated. With over 260 vaccine centres open across the capital, including five football stadiums – the NHS, local authorities and volunteers have led one of the biggest vaccine rollouts over one weekend our city has ever seen. Seeing their efficiency, passion and professionalism first hand was inspiring.
“The vaccine is a gamechanger in our fight against this virus, and we are now in the final push. I can’t emphasise enough how crucial it is for all Londoners over 18 to go out and get vaccinated as soon as possible, and for everyone to ensure they have their second dose.
“You do not need to be registered with a GP or know your NHS number to get vaccinated. Vaccination is the best route for us to protect our loved ones and to continue opening up our city safely, so that we can return to doing more of the things we love.”
Last week, Prime Minster Boris Johnson announced that the planned easing of lockdown restrictions would be pushed back until July 19 due to an increase in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19.
London now faces a race to meet the target of offering a jab to all over-18s and fully vaccinating two-thirds of adults by July 19.
Due to a comparatively younger population, the capital has so far lagged behind other areas of England in terms of the percentage of adult vaccinated, but it is expected to catch up with the jab now offered to all over-18s.
Similar mass vaccination clinics are planned for the coming weeks, with Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in north London to offer jabs between 8am and 8pm from June 25 to June 28.