High Peak Covid vaccine uptake among nation's highest but hundreds of over-50s still to get first jab
According to the latest NHS data, hundreds of High Peak residents aged 50-plus have yet to receive a first dose of Covid vaccine – despite being invited to book a jab more than two months ago.
Despite their age cohorts being eligible for vaccination since at least March 17, it is thought that 946 local people aged 50 or over had still to get a first jab as of May 30 – two per cent of the age group based on official estimates.
The figure was highest in the neighbourhood of New Mills West and Furness Vale where 5.6 per cent of over 50s had not received a Covid jab by the date in question.
Dr Emily Lawson, NHS lead for the vaccination programme, said: “Getting both doses is what will give everyone the maximum possible protection against Covid.”
Despite safety concerns for those left unvaccinated, especially given the spread of the more contagious delta variant, the Derbyshire Dales figures put the district on par with the South West of England, which has the highest uptake of any region.
Across the Midlands as a whole, three per cent of over-50s had yet to receive the first dose by the date in question. The lowest uptake of all regions was in London, where the figure stood at 11 per cent.
Nationally, four per cent of people aged 50 and over – 800,600 adults – had not been vaccinated as of May 30.
As the NHS began issuing invitations to over-25s on June 8 – exactly six months since the first jab was delivered – 75 per cent of the adults across England had received their first dose and more than half were fully vaccinated.
There are numerous legitimate reasons why people may be yet to take up the vaccine offer, but some experts are interpreting the figures as a sign that there could be hesitancy among sections of the population, or that the message is not reaching them.
The data showed that nine per cent of people aged 50 and over in the most deprived areas were unvaccinated, compared to two per cent in the most affluent.
Earlier NHS data showed vaccine uptake by ethnic group was the lowest among black Caribbean people, with 37 per cent receiving no jab by May 7.
Despite this, NHS England said vaccine uptake in black British and Asian communities tripled between February and April.