The 101-year old made headlines last year when he took on the challenge of walking 100 laps of his garden while he was fasting for Ramadan. His incredible efforts saw him fundraise more than £229,000 for coronavirus charities.
Now, as the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out is underway in Tower Hamlets, Mr Choudhury wants to encourage everyone to take up the vaccine when they are offered it by the NHS.
Dabirul Choudhury said: “I am incredibly grateful to have had my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. I feel very lucky indeed and it’s starting to feel like we’re heading in the right direction for us to have a bit more normality in our lives again. This pandemic has been tough for everyone, but hopefully this vaccine will mean we can soon start seeing our family and friends again. My advice to anyone is to get vaccinated as soon as you’re offered. I am 101 years old – if I feel safe about getting the vaccine, I hope it will give other people confidence in getting it too.”
Mr Choudhury is the latest among thousands of residents in Tower Hamlets to have had their first Covid-19 vaccine. So far, with support from the council, Tower Hamlets GP Care Group has vaccinated over 9,000 people in groups one and two of the vaccination priority list. This includes residents and staff in older people’s care homes, people who are 80 and over, and frontline health and social care workers.
Every older people’s care home in Tower Hamlets has been visited and all residents and staff offered the Covid-19 vaccine. So far, 88 per cent of care home residents and 43 per cent of staff have been vaccinated.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “The Covid-19 vaccine offers the best protection against the virus and gives us hope that we can get back to some normality in the future. Getting the vaccine delivered in a way that is safe, fast and efficient has taken a monumental effort and I want to thank everyone who has gone above and beyond to make this happen. I would strongly advise everyone to get the vaccine once they’re eligible – it’s safe, effective and the next step towards getting back to the things we love.”
The council is working with partner organisations and stakeholders in the borough to engage with local communities, ensure equity of access to vaccines and inform people of the benefits of getting vaccinated. This work also includes dispelling any misinformation, disinformation or myths surrounding the vaccine as well as making sure people are aware that none of the approved vaccines contain any animal products or egg.
Councillor Rachel Blake, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing said: “It’s excellent news to hear that Mr Choudhury joins the ever-increasing list of people who have been vaccinated in Tower Hamlets. Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. We are aware there is some incorrect information circulating around the vaccine, but everyone should be reassured that it has met strict safety standards and gone through all the clinical trials that other medicines have to go through.”
The NHS is working through the vaccine priority list as set out by government and residents will be contacted by the NHS when they are eligible to book their vaccination.
There is a chance that people may still be able to pass Covid-19 onto others even after getting the vaccination. This means it remains important for everyone to following social distancing measures, wear a face covering when instructed to do so and practice good hand hygiene until advised otherwise.
More information on the Covid-19 vaccine can be found at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/vaccine