Over a third (34.6%) of over-80s have had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in England, according to Public Health England.
A further further 960,699 people, or 1.7%, of people under 80 have also had their first dose, while 9.8% of over-80s have also had their second dose.
But the news comes as data, covering the period 8 December to 10 January, showed varying rates of vaccination across England – with the North East outperforming in its coverage.
PHE data published today revealed the breakdown as:
North East and Yorkshire: 43.8%
North West: 34.9%
South East: 34.8%
South West: 34.3%
East of England: 27.9%
Over-80s are in the second priority group for vaccination, as identified by the JCVI, following care home residents and staff.
The report did not include uptake from the first cohort, although PHE said that ‘more high-quality data will become available in the coming weeks to provide further insight into groups where uptake of the vaccine can be increased’.
The Government has set out a target for everyone in the first four priority groups to receive one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by the middle of next month.
Yesterday, it also set out a target for all care home residents to be vaccinated by the end of this week, and by the 24 January at the latest.
GPs were told at the end of last month to delay the second dose of the vaccine to 12 weeks after the first – instead of the originally planned three-week gap – to reach as much population coverage as possible and reduce pressure on NHS services.
Although GPs were given discretion to honour second-dose appointments up until last week, as of this week the enhanced service specification is clear all such appointments have to be cancelled and postponed.