Vaccine minister praises Charedi community for ‘getting message out’ on jabs

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Vaccine minister praises Charedi community for ‘getting message out’ on jabs

Nadhim Zahawi attended an 'incredible' mass vaccination event in Hackney on Saturday night, at which more than 225 people got their inoculation

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Nadhim Zahawi speaking to a member of the strictly-Orthodox community at the mass vaccination event
Nadhim Zahawi speaking to a member of the strictly-Orthodox community at the mass vaccination event

The UK minister responsible for vaccination rollout has praised the Charedi community for “getting the message out” about the importance of having a jab.

Nadhim Zahawi MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment, heralded emergency response service Hatzola for an “incredible” mass vaccination event on Saturday, at which more than 225 people got the jab.

This comes amid concerns about compliance with Covid restrictions in the Charedi community both in the UK and Israel, which have high rates of infection.

Zahawi spoke to Rabbi Chaim Michoel Biberfeld of South Tottenham United Synagogue, who got his jab on Saturday. The minister said: “We discussed some of the issues, both in the community here and some of the issues in Israel, and he shared with me how the rabbis and the community leaders, were getting the message out that it’s important for the community to be vaccinated, and it is really working.”

The event, which the minister attended alongside local MP Diane Abbott, was organised by Hatzola and local Hackney community and NHS groups.

He thanked Hatzola as “the ones who advertised” the event, saying members of the community were “just queuing up and waiting their turn to be vaccinated. It was something to behold.”

Zahawi said Israel’s vaccination programme was “leading the way and in many ways we look to them for the real life, real world data that’s now coming through which to us very, very positive.”

“They’ve done an extraordinary job of protecting the most vulnerable, and now, taking the vaccine to other age groups.

Zahawi added the government has discussed its ability to “vaccinate rapidly” and looks to Israel who “were getting to about four minutes per person, which was pretty incredible.”

We share ideas all the time. And we share data all the time. And I’m very grateful to them for all the work that they’re doing. And really quite important that nations work together the reality is, we’re not safe until the whole world is safe.”

Diane Abbott MP told Jewish News: “I accompanied the Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi, to the mass vaccination event on Saturday. It was a very successful event. There were a number of Charedi Rabbis and community leaders present and we had a discussion with the Minister. I was impressed with the work that community leaders are doing to encourage the community to comply with coronavirus regulations. I think it is very important that all communities come forward for vaccination”.

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