Low first jab rate in borough despite Covid vaccination centre milestone

Campaign for over 65s to get their Covid jabs

Newham and Tower Hamlets have among the lowest rates of adults who have had their first dose of the Covid vaccine. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The percentage of adults in Newham and Tower Hamlets who have had their first Covid jab is among the lowest in the country.

The latest vaccination figures from NHS England show the two boroughs are among the bottom three local authorities by that measure.

Tower Hamlets has the lowest percentage of people aged 16 and older who have had a jab, at 22.2 per cent. Newham is third lowest, with less than one in four (24.9pc) adults recieving their first dose so far.

The new figures come as the NHS Covid-19 vaccine centre in Royal Docks, which is run by Barts Health NHS Trust at the ExCel Centre and serves people across east London, delivered its 50,000th jab this week.

Group director for corporate development Andrew Hines, who oversees Barts Health's vaccination work, said: "We will carry on playing our part in offering vaccinations to the priority groups identified by the JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation].

The NHS Nightingale facility at the Excel Centre, London, one of the seven mass vaccination centres

The NHS mass Covid-19 vaccination centre at the ExCel Centre. - Credit: PA

"We urge anyone in these groups who has been contacted but has not yet booked an appointment to ‘get the jab’."

He said Barts Health has given almost 34,000 more vaccines across four of its hospitals.

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The latest data also shows only 35.5pc of people aged 16 and older have had a first jab of the vaccine across the East London Health and Care Partnership (ELCHP) area - which covers Newham, Tower Hamlets and five other boroughs, plus the City.

This is the lowest percentage among the five statistical "NHS areas" across London.

London accounts for all of the bottom five NHS areas by this measure nationally.

Reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown this week, Public Health England’s London regional director Professor Kevin Fenton called on people to take up the vaccine when offered it.

“Though our lives might not return to the ‘normal’ we knew, with collective and continued efforts we can hopefully get back to doing the things we’ve been missing sooner rather than later,” he said. 

“So, if you’ve not already had it, when you get the call for the vaccine, please do take it up, and once you have, remember that you’ll still need to follow national restrictions and keep going with the basics of prevention."

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