All other regions of England have given their first dose to more than 88 per cent of the over 80s, with London a distinct outlier. By January 31 fewer than three quarters of over 80s had been given their first vaccine dose in the capital.
But in terms of second jabs, London has now fully vaccinated the highest proportion of over 80s – at 13.8 per cent – affording that smaller number of people greater protection.
The lowest is in the Midlands – at 8.9 per cent – up just 0.2 percentage points from the week prior.
One success story in London is among the 70 to 74 age range, according to new data released this week. 61.1 per cent of Londoners in this bracket have received their first dose, much higher than any other region, with the North West on 46 per cent.
Among younger age groups, close to one in ten people under 70 in the North West (9.2 per cent) have now received their first jab – more than 436,000 people.
London, with a much younger population, has handed out more than 404,000 first doses to those aged under 70 – just 6.4 per cent.
All of the doses given so far have been for the Government’s first set of priority groups – a total of 32m people that includes everyone over the age of 50 as well as all frontline workers and people with underlying conditions that make them highly vulnerable Covid-19.
The nine groups are below – and it is the people within the first four groups, comprising 15m people, that the Government is aiming to offer doses to by mid-February:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)
- All those 65 years of age and over
- Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
When asked how the Government will identify which key workers need the vaccine more urgently, the Health Secretary shared that 99 per cent of deaths are in the top nine groups of the JCVI guidelines. After that, the goal is to reduce transmission and get back to normal as soon as possible.
The figures now being published have only just begun to include the rollout of the now-approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which began on Monday, January 4 and is expected to take place at a faster pace than previous vaccinations.
Before then the NHS had only been administering the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, which was first given patients on December 9 but is more expensive and harder to distribute logistically than the Oxford vaccine.
Nicola Sturgeon is facing mounting anger over Scotland’s slow vaccine roll-out after it emerged her government has more than 400,000 unused doses and England’s deployment was almost twice as fast last weekend.
The First Minister on Jan 18 disclosed that 264,991 people north of the Border have been given their first dose but The Telegraph understands her government has now been handed more than 700,000 doses from the UK’s supplies.
In Wales, Mark Drakeford, the First Minister, defended the slower rollout of the vaccination programme, saying supplies of the Pfizer jab were being stretched out so that vaccinators were not standing idle.
How this compares globally
A fast pace of dose giving so far means the UK stands relatively strong in the international rankings of vaccinations.
So far the UK is ranked 4th in the world, according to statistics compiled by Our World in Data, a team of statistical researchers based in Oxford.