Hammersmith 'Uniquely Vulnerable' To Covid Resurgence

Low vaccine rates raise fears for consequences of lockdown easing

Mass vaccination and testing events are focusing on younger age groups
Mass vaccination and testing events are focusing on younger age groups

The Hammersmith area is described as ‘uniquely vulnerable’ to a Covid-19 resurgence after the latest figures show the number of infections rising sharply but vaccination rates still well below other areas.

For the week to 11 July there were 52 cases in the area defined by the Office of National Statistics as Hammersmith Broadway giving an infection rate per 100,000 of 697.7 a 225% rise on the week and one of the highest rates in London. Only 57.2% of the eligible population of the area have received at least on Covid-19 jab with just 36.6% having received the second dose.

A local GP said, “It is no coincidence that a borough with relatively low take up of the vaccine has London’s highest incidence of the virus. The low vaccination rates can’t solely be explained by the demographics of the area but, whatever the reason, we are uniquely vulnerable at the moment to a major local surge in the disease with current levels only representing the foothills of where we will rise to.

“The relationship between infections, hospitalisations and deaths has been weakened not broken and it would be foolishly complacent to think this increase is not something to be deeply concerned about.”

For the borough as a whole the average for those having received the first does is 57.0% and for the second is 36.9% one of the lowest for any local authority area in the country.

According to government figures 88% of those eligible in the UK have received their first does with 67% having had both. This falls to just 65% for the first dose in London and 45% for the second dose. Up to and including 14 July, 5,476,412 people in London had received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 3,821,071 had received two doses.

The borough’s low vaccination rate was raised by Andy Slaughter MP this week at Prime Minister’s Question Time when he highlighted the area’s vulnerability to Boris Johnson.

He said, “At a time when we’re being told it is vital to have the second jab to protect against the Delta variation in particular, almost two thirds of people here don’t have that protection.

“Incredible efforts have gone into achieving even these levels of vaccination, but there are particular problems in inner city areas. Myths about the safety of vaccines seem to spread more easily. A younger population can’t see the advantage of them. A poorer population fears getting sick from the vaccine and losing work. There is lower GP registration.

“We are only a few weeks into offering vaccines to younger people. And sometimes the right vaccine is not in the right place. We are getting there, but slowly. Every technique from pop-up clinics to TikTok and counselling hesitant individuals is employed. And it is estimated that nationally vaccination has prevented 30,000 deaths and eight million new cases thus far.”

He went on to question the wisdom of loosening restrictions as rapidly as the government were intending when there were still areas like Hammersmith & Fulham that were vulnerable.

The borough already has the highest incidence of Covid-19 in London. There were 811 cases in Hammersmith and Fulham in the 7 days to 11 July giving an infection rate of 438.0 per 100,000 population and increase of 28.9 percent over the previous period.

Positive Covid-19 Tests and Vaccination Rates
Area Cases to 11 July Per 100,000 Change over previous week (%) First Dose up to 15 July (%) Second Dose up to 15 July (%)

Hammersmith Broadway
(MSOA Hammersmith and Fulham 013)

Lillie Road & Greyhound Road
(MSOA Hammersmith and Fulham 016)

Ravenscourt Park South
(MSOA Hammersmith and Fulham 011)


Fulham Reach
(MSOA Hammersmith and Fulham 018)


Ravenscourt Park North
(MSOA Hammersmith and Fulham 008)


Brook Green
(MSOA Hammersmith and Fulham 010)


(MSOA Hammersmith and Fulham 009)

Barons Court
(MSOA Hammersmith and Fulham 014)
West Kensington
(MSOA Hammersmith and Fulham 012)

Source: ONS

Hammersmith & Fulham residents aged 18 or over (or at high risk from coronavirus) can now get a Covid vaccination jab without needing an invitation from their GP.

You can get your Covid jab this Saturday, 17 July, from 10am to 7pm at Stamford Bridge or Hammersmith Hospital. First or second doses are available - but a minimum of eight weeks between jabs is required. You can walk in but registering for this event will ensure you get your vaccination, walk-ins will be managed based on vaccine availability.

If you have any questions about the vaccine, getting to the vaccine centre or facilities at the centre contact the H&F CAN helpline on Freephone 0800 145 6095, open 8am to 6pm seven days a week, or email: can@lbhf.gov.uk.

In the most recent week of complete data, (4 July 2021 - 10 July), 24,912 cases were identified in London, a rate of 278 cases per 100,000 population. This compares with 19,057 cases and a rate of 213 for the previous week.

For the same period 197,192 cases were identified in England as a whole, a rate of 350 cases per 100,000 population. This compares with 149,197 cases and a rate of 265 for the previous week.

The total number of Covid-19 cases identified in London is 816,338 as at 14 July 2021, this compares to 4,594,159 cases for England as a whole.

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July 16, 2021