Asylum seekers in their 20s were ‘fast-tracked for Covid vaccines ahead of the elderly’

Camilla Turner
Mon, December 5, 2022 at 3:30 PM

Covid vaccine

Asylum seekers in their 20s and 30s were fast-tracked for Covid vaccines ahead of elderly Britons, Matt Hancock has claimed.

In a diary entry from mid-February last year, the former health secretary hit out at the “bleeding hearts” running North West London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who had “taken it upon themselves to prioritise vaccinating asylum seekers”.

He said that 317 asylum seekers - who were “predominantly males in their 20s and 30s” - had been given the vaccine ahead of elderly British citizens.
At the time, the Covid vaccine was being offered to people over the age of 70, care home residents and the extremely clinically vulnerable, as well those working in care homes and the health service.

Mr Hancock’s entry for Feb 12 2021 in his Pandemic Diaries says: “The Left never ceases to amaze. The bleeding hearts who run North West London CCG (one of many health quangos nobody will miss when they’re abolished) have taken it upon themselves to prioritize vaccinating asylum seekers.

“They have fast-tracked no fewer than 317 such individuals - ‘predominantly males in their 20s and 30s’.

“So, while older British citizens quietly wait their turn, we are fast-tracking people who aren’t in high-risk categories and may not even have any right to be here?”

Matt Hancock's book, Pandemic Diaries, is being serialised in the Daily Mail
The North West London CCG has since been replaced by a successor organisation, NHS North West London.

A spokesman said: "As part of our work to address health inequalities, we provided all those living in North West London with access to the Covid vaccine in line with the national eligibility cohorts."

In his latest diary entries, which are being serialised by the Daily Mail, Mr Hanock told how two weeks after the Covid vaccine was signed off in Dec 2020, Baroness Boothroyd, the former Commons speaker, called his office to ask for one.

“Betty Boothroyd called the office, asking if there’s any way she can get her jab soon,” says Mr Hancock’s entry from Dec 17 2020.

“She’s 91 and very vulnerable. I called her back myself as I was in the car home. I’d never met her, but she’s something of a hero of mine. As speaker, she was a real trailblazer for women in politics.

“I said yes, we can get you your jab - given her age, she’s entitled to it - but the deal is you have to have it on camera. She readily agreed. I gave her number to Nadhim Zahawi, who is going to fix it.”