The East of England has recorded the biggest jump in first vaccinations for the over-80s – although it joins London in continuing to lag behind the rest of the nation.
New data released by NHS England for the week ending 17 January showed the East of England saw the number of first doses administered rise by 45%, the biggest among the regions compared to the preceding seven days.
The increase in coronavirus vaccination rate will be welcomed as it has one of the lowest proportions of its 80+ population inoculated against COVID-19 since 8 December, at only 53% – with London on just 50%.
The North East and Yorkshire showed the smallest rise in the number of over-80s being vaccinated over the week, but has still vaccinated the largest proportion of that age group in the region since the start of the programme’s rollout – at 67%.
It comes as it was reported that the North East and Yorkshire would have its vaccine supply cut next week to ensure other regions catch up with the vaccination programme.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons that vaccine supply must be fairly distributed across the country when questioned about the Health Service Journal (HSJ) report on Thursday.
“We have got to make sure that the vaccination programme is fair right across the UK, and some parts of the country, including parts of the North East and parts of Yorkshire, have gone really fast early on which is terrific,” he said.
“And we do have to make sure that the vaccination programme is fair everywhere so that everyone in the top four groups can receive that offer of a vaccine by the February 15.”
However, the situation remains the same in the capital even a week after its Mayor Sadiq Khan called on the government to increase the supply of vaccines to the city.
Meanwhile, it emerged that a total of 363,508 first coronavirus vaccinations were administered on Wednesday, the highest daily figure to date.
But although almost five million people across the UK have now received a first jab, the latest figures show an average of 401,070 would need to be administered each day in order to meet the government’s target of 15 million initial doses by 15 February.
NHS England has also released provisional figures showing the number of administered first doses by the nation’s 42 STPs (sustainability and transformational partnerships) – which are each comprised of local authorities, NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups.
Data suggests that Gloucestershire STP has given 85.3 first doses per 100 people aged 80 and over, the highest figure for any sub-regional area of England.
Gloucestershire STP had the highest proportion of people aged 80 and over who had received their first jab, followed by Northamptonshire (78.2%) and Hereford & Worcestershire (76.2%).
The STPs with the lowest proportions were Suffolk & North East Essex (36%) and Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Health and Care (43.2%).