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Don’t push the eight week vaccine rule, says Council Leader

13 July 2021

Following a rise in the number of people trying to get their second COVID-19 vaccination too early, Richmond Council is asking residents to be calm and not be abusive or rude to NHS staff when they are turned away.  

Local leaders across London are calling for people to treat frontline workers with kindness following a growing number of reports of increasingly hostile incidents at vaccination centres.

With more pop-up centres being opened across the capital, those who have not yet had their first vaccination are being prioritised. At the same time, those who are due their second jab are also invited – on the condition that they have an eight week gap since their first appointment.

Experts advise that an eight week gap between jabs gives the best level of protection from COVID-19, and abuse or hostility towards staff who are following this guidance, will not be tolerated.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“It is great that people want to be fully vaccinated and we are keen to make that happen.

“However, we are seeing an increase of people wanting to jump the queue - particularly if they are planning holidays over the summer. This then results in them being turned away from our centres. Indeed, just last Saturday around 200 people tried to have their second jab after just 4 weeks at one of our centres.

“The NHS staff and volunteers are just following the rules, and it is not acceptable that people become impatient and sometimes rude.

“It is simple – if you are over 18 and not had your jab please book an appointment online or come to one of our walk-in centres. If you had your first vaccine eight weeks ago or more, you are also eligible to have your second jab. If you had your first jab within 8 weeks, please wait.” 

Medical Director for the NHS in London, Dr Vin Diwakar, added:

“Most Londoners have shown immense gratitude to those who’ve protected us throughout this pandemic, but sadly there are growing reports of abuse and aggression towards NHS teams.

“We take a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of abuse, and we know the public stands with us in supporting our incredible staff and volunteers as they work tirelessly to get London vaccinated and back to doing the things we love.”

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Up to: July 2021

Updated: 14 July 2021