Thousands gathered in London’s Chinatown yesterday to get their free jab, after an advertisement promised that people could get vaccinated without a NHS number, any kind of documentation or appointment. The advertisement read:
A vaccine bus is available in London Chinatown to offer free vaccine jabs to the community without an appointment. You do not need to have an NHS number, any proof of address, or provide personal identification.
The notice also assured undocumented migrants that they could come forward and get their jab without being afraid that their information will be passed on to legal authorities. It added:
Undocumented migrants also welcomed—no details or identity will be passed on to the police or immigration. Please tell all your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, to take this vaccine. All current age categories welcomed. Stay safe! Get vaccinated!
Official vaccination drive
The notice was issued by the Chinese Information and Advice Centre (CIAC), but the initiative is run by the Westminster Council. It’s an official service which is now being offered by the government and the NHS to target some of the most disadvantaged communities of the country. This was the first of many vaccination drives that will now spread to several other locations in the coming weeks. The Telegraph spoke with a source from the North-West London Clinical Commissioning Group that organised the vaccine bus, and they said:
The offer of the Covid vaccine is available to people over the age of 30 and those in the priority groups as outlined by the JCVI [joint committee on vaccination and immunisation].
Getting the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against Covid-19 and we remain committed to working with the local community to ensure all those who are eligible can receive their vaccine.
The drive was open on Thursday, from 12 pm to 5 pm, and Chinatown was packed with people who were itching to finally get jabbed. But due to the overwhelming crowd that built up over the hours, it was decided that only those over 40 were eligible to get the vaccine. As a result, many young people who were waiting in line for hours had to return home unvaccinated.