Thousands of people descended on Chinatown in extraordinary scenes after a council promised Covid-19 jabs with no appointment, NHS number or ID.
Crowds gathered on the pavement outside a barber shop following an advert posted on the Chinese Information and Advice Centre charity’s website saying “undocumented migrants” were welcome to get a jab at the specially appointed bus.
The bus, run by Westminster Council, is an official service facilitated by the Government and NHS visiting different locations within the area.
The CIAC advert said: “A vaccine bus is available in London Chinatown to offer free vaccine jab to the Community without appointment.
“You DO NOT need to have: NHS number, any proof of address, personal identification. Undocumented migrants also welcomed. Stay safe! Get vaccinated!”
Coronavirus jabs can normally only be booked via the NHS website or at a GP surgery.
Vaccine buses have popped up around the UK with volunteer groups enlisted to help run them in areas where take-up has been low such as Luton and Bolton.
However, the demand in Chinatown appears to be by far the highest seen so far.
Anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn, brother of ex-Labour leader Jeremy, turned up to lead a protest urging people not to get the jab.
A group of women chanted “shame on you” at people onboard the bus.
To counter fears, pamphlets were delivered through the doors of local businesses a week before the arrival of the vaccine bus to encourage people to attend.
A spokesman for the North-West London Clinical Commissioning Group, which set up the vaccine bus, said: “The offer of the Covid vaccine is available to people over the age of 30 and those in the priority groups as outlined by the JCVI [joint committee on vaccination and immunisation].
“Getting the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against Covid-19 and we remain committed to working with the local community to ensure all those who are eligible can receive their vaccine."