Covid-19 vaccine, Dalston Junction traffic, London Fields Lido and more

Someone in blue PPE holding Covid-19 vaccine

Concerns raised over Covid-19 vaccine stockpiling - Credit: PA

Covid-19 vaccine stockpiling puts world's poorest at risk

Tom Rubens, address supplied, writes:
With Covid infections soaring in Hackney, many local people--especially the old and medically vulnerable--will be anxious to see the new vaccines rolled out speedily.
But while governments in Britain and other rich countries have already bought enough vaccine to inoculate their populations many times over, millions of people in poorer parts of the world have no chance of getting jabs for the foreseeable future, because of cost and lack of availability--factors made worse by vaccine hoarding by developed nations.
The above situation could lead to a much bigger death toll and increased poverty. That’s why Hackney members of ‘Global Justice Now’ have been pressing the big pharmaceutical companies to join a World Health Organisation pool to share their technology with pharma companies in the global South, who can make cheaper generic versions of the vaccines. Also, there is the fact that much of the medical research for these products has in any case been paid for by public funds, and so this is an additional reason for publicly sharing the production, and so the availability, of vaccines worldwide.
Perhaps your readers can help by urging the British government to drop its opposition to suspending intellectual property rights for Covid vaccines, so that poorer people are not made to suffer and die.

Traffic planners should hit streets

Charles Webber, Dalston, writes: 
I keep hoping the powers that be will hold a Street Planners Zoom meeting when someone says; “okay, yeah we have to admit, this is all going horribly wrong”.
I know everyone’s been asked to work from home but can I encourage the traffic planners to actually take a wander out into the streets?
Or at least down-load the bus data. There are scores of them backed up around Dalston Junction for many hours of the day. I counted 40 one evening. Four zero!
The war on the motorist could not be waged at a worse time; some of these ill-conceived traffic ideas will literally drive investment out of the area.
But if you want a ghost town, crack on. Berlin will be laughing all the way to the bank. By car and van.

Swimmers can join seasonal dip


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Charles Dean, from leisure social enterprise GLL, writes:
Dozens of Hackney and Camden swimmers will join in a seasonal swimming celebration for the first time, when not-for-profit leisure operator Better opens London Fields Lido and West Reservoir (Hackney) and Oasis Sports Centre Covent Garden (Camden) this Christmas for Better’s Boxing Day Dip (26 December).
And thanks to a partnership with local Trussell Trust Camden Foodbank and Hackney Foodbank, dozens of Londoners in need will benefit too as customers are invited to make a donation of tinned and dry goods and unwanted Christmas gifts and toys to an in-centre collection point.
Better’s Boxing Day Dip is a thank you to customers who have shown resilience and patience waiting for their favourite exercise fix during lockdowns, in what has been a difficult year for many.
London Fields Lido will open at  9am and West Reservoir at 10am and will also open for the first time on Christmas morning from 10am.
Camden’s Oasis Sports Centre will open its pool from 8am to cater for dozens of residents wanting to burn off some Christmas calories, relax and have fun.
All three venues will also open on New Year’s Day.
Better is the customer brand of leisure social enterprise GLL – the largest operator of public swimming venues in the UK, operating a diverse range of over 100 swimming locations.
Under the latest Tier 4 arrangements, open air pools can operate in Covid Secure mode; swim sessions must be pre-booked online at www.better.org.uk or via the Better_uk app. Booking windows open 7 days in advance.

Think of others at Christmas

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Emma Tingley, London Strategic Partnerships manager, Macmillan Cancer Support, writes:
Christmas is a time for making people feel special. It’s an opportunity to think about what’s important; in a year when being in each other’s company has been so difficult, isn’t time together the greatest gift of all?
We’ve all had to adapt this year, as the global pandemic has taken its toll, creating adversity, generating fear and isolation. Forcing us to alter our natural instincts to come together, alter our behaviour and live with an invisible enemy. For those of us living with cancer this has brought further anxiety and trepidation to an already challenging present and uncertain future.
Which is why Macmillan Cancer Support are urging Londoners to find new, innovative ways to #ReachOut to family, friends, neighbours and the community this Christmas, while adhering to government guidelines and restrictions.
Whether it’s sending a card, a video call, or inviting them to join a virtual event like celeb-packed Macmillan Carol Concert Follow The Stars, you can still show people you are there for them. Now more than ever, we need to find new ways to show those around us that they matter.
This Christmas Macmillan Cancer Support wants you to take a step back and focus on what’s special to all of us, something that comes more naturally at Christmas than at any other time of year. #ReachOut to family, friends, neighbours and the community, show them that they matter and they’re on your mind.
Cancer doesn’t stop at Christmas and neither does Macmillan Cancer Support. We have 1,500 Macmillan badged professionals in London helping support the 210,000 people are living with cancer in the capital.
The Macmillan Support Line can help with clinical, practical and financial information for all those affected by and living with cancer. Please call us on 0808 808 00 00 (seven days a week, 8am-8pm).
Without your donations we simply cannot support the growing number of people who need us no matter what time of year it is.
Donate today to help us this Christmas: macmillan.org.uk/donate or visit our online shop buy a Christmas card and remind someone they’re in your thoughts, reach out: shop.macmillan.org.uk/#

Help us continue vital charity work

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at the BHF, writes:
For many people Christmas is usually a time for catching up with friends, raising a glass and embracing loved ones.
But this Christmas will look very different for most families across the UK, including those sadly affected by heart and circulatory diseases. 
There are around 620,000 people in Greater London living with heart and circulatory diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia. We know from the millions of people that have turned to us for support this year that so many people with heart and circulatory diseases are worried about their greater risk from Covid-19 and the many have been shielding.  
With your support, we’ve worked tirelessly to be there for people – extending our Heart Helpline’s opening hours, providing valuable Covid-19 information and continuing to fund research with the promise of improved treatments. Even over Christmas, our Heart Helpline will be open for those who need us most.  
But we need your support now more than ever to continue this vital work. The closure of our shops and cancellation of fundraising events has had a devastating impact on our funds, putting life saving discoveries in peril. We expect our income to be cut in half this year alone.   
Traditionally Christmas is a time for giving and generosity. Whilst some Christmas traditions may have changed this year, we hope this one hasn’t. Your support will help us continue to fund research and support millions of people with heart and circulatory diseases at a time they really need us.  
Merry Christmas and thank you for your support

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