NEW figures reveal a postcode lottery for Covid vaccinations with the West Midlands jabbing 50 per cent of over-80s – while London lags behind on 30 per cent.
Regional vaccination totals released by the NHS show an uneven geographical spread in the distribution of the jab.
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A nurse administers a Covid-19 vaccination shot at the vaccination centre at Robertson House, in StevenageCredit: PA:Press Association
According to the Telegraph, the Midlands has administered 387,647 doses of the jab, with around 50 per cent – 140, 147 – given to over-80s. The region became the first in England to rollout the vaccine when Margaret Keenan received the Pfizer vaccine last month.
Meanwhile the North-East and Yorkshire runs a close second, with 46 per cent of over-80s receiving the jab.
By contrast, London has vaccinated just 30.6 per cent of this age group so far, which is narrowly ahead of the East of England on 29.2 per cent.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed earlier this week that two-fifths of over-80s had received their first dose, but new figures reveal the total is slightly under this at 36.5 per cent.
Measuring vaccinations as a percentage of the total regional population, just 2.23 per cent of Londoners have received their first dose – the lowest rate in England. The North-East and Yorkshire has vaccinated 4.31 per cent of people across all age groups.
Addressing the concerning lack of jabs, London mayor Sadiq Khan claimed that vaccine supply to the capital was insufficient.
He said: “I am hugely concerned that Londoners have received only a tenth of the vaccines that have been given across the country.
“The situation in London is critical, with rates of the virus extremely high, which is why it’s so important that vulnerable Londoners are given access to the vaccine as soon as possible.”
Yesterday, the PM admitted to a committee of MPs there were gaps between different areas.
He said: “There are parts of the country where they have done incredibly well in vaccinating the over-80s.
“Well over 50 per cent now in the North East and Yorkshire.
“It is less good in some other parts of the country.”
It comes after Boris Johnson last night vowed to make vaccines available 24/7 in a push to get another 10 million people vaccinated by mid-February.
A Government source told The Sun: “We’re in a good place and have enough to meet out pledge, with supply continuously improving.
“We are already vaccinating more than 200,000 a day and are nowhere near capacity.
“If things go smoothly we could well be doing 400,000 a day — three million a week — by the start of February.”
The Times claimed it could even reach 500,000 a day next week – more than doubling the current capacity.
The PM hinted yesterday that batches of vaccine that had been earmarked to be given out later this year may be brought forward and replaced when others get approval.
Pharmacies have also started rolling out the vaccine, with high street chemists Boots and Superdrug starting today, and 70 more chemists from next week.
Supermarkets are also joining in, with Asda becoming the first major retailer to start offering the jabs later this month.
Meanwhile, data from PHE shows that although London continues to have the highest infection rate of any region in England, its rate of new cases stood at 864.9 per 100,000 people in the seven days to January 10.
This is down from 1,043.9 in the previous week.
Meanwhile cases in the North West have seen a recent surge, with Merseyside hit hard.
Cases in Knowsley are up from 796.8 to 1,399.3, with 2,111 new cases.
In the last seven days cases in Liverpool City Region have gone from 612.2 to 1,048.1.
Nearby Sefton has also jumped from 650.1 to 1,075.9.
St Helens, also in Merseyside, has seen an increase from 491.7 to 824 and the Wirral has jumped from 696.9 to 941.