Six in 10 over-80s vaccinated against COVID-19 as figures expose regional variation

Six in 10 people aged over 80 in England received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by last weekend, but parts of the country have fallen far behind, GPonline analysis reveals.

COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

Figures from NHS England show that by 17 January, 1,684,673 people aged over 80 had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine - 59% of the nearly 2.9m people in this age group.

But analysis by GPonline exposes huge variations in the proportion of patients in this group who have received a first dose of vaccine in different areas - from just 35% in the Suffolk and North East Essex sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) area, to 83% in Gloucestershire STP (see table below).

At the wider regional level, London was the only area to have vaccinated less than half of its over-80s by 17 January, while the North East and Yorkshire region had delivered at least one dose to 66% of patients in this group - the highest regional total in the country.

At STP or integrated care partnership (ICS) level the gaps are far larger - with 10 out of 42 STP areas in England having vaccinated two thirds or more of patients over 80 by 17 January - while 10 out of 42 had also completed less than half of jabs in this age group.

The regional variation exposed by the latest weekly set of data helps to explain why NHS England has told some vaccination sites that they will receive no deliveries of vaccine next week, while areas that have fallen behind could receive large quantities to help even out geographical variation.

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GPonline UK COVID-19 vaccination tracker: check the latest data on progress with the vaccination campaign

Meanwhile, data for 18-20 January - which do not provide the age range of people vaccinated - show that more than 780,000 further doses have been administered in England since 17 February.

On 20 January, the UK achieved its highest single-day output of COVID-19 vaccinations this year, with a total of 363,508. A total of 318,151 doses were administered in England, 14,619 in Wales, 24,962 in Scotland and 5,776 in Northern Ireland. As a result, the proportion of over-80s vaccinated with at least one dose is now likely to be substantially higher than the figures above suggest.

UK-wide, the latest data available from the government show that by 20 January 4,973,248 people UK-wide had received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine - nearly a third of the 15m total the government hopes to complete by 15 February.

There are 15m people in the UK -12m of them in England - in the top four priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for COVID-19 vaccination. The four groups cover care home staff and residents, health and care staff, people over 70 and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

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