East London falling behind on COVID vaccines for over 80s

East London now has the smallest percentage of over-80s who have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine in the entire country.

A little under a third of the area’s most elderly residents, almost 17,500 people, have not received a jab, according to figures released on Thursday February 4.

The data does not reveal how many over-80s have been offered the vaccine and refused and some boroughs in east London may have vaccinated a higher proportion than others.

As of January 24, the local NHS is asking those aged 80 or over who have not yet been contacted for their first vaccine to reach out to their GP.

Almost double the number of east Londoners younger than 70 have received a dose than those aged over 80, suggesting the area may have more key workers than other parts of the country.

East London residents in their late 70s are also less likely to have received their first dose than most other parts of the country.

However, residents in their early 70s, aged 70 to 74, are more likely than most to have received a dose, with east London having vaccinated the third highest percentage in England.

The NHS aims to offer all over-70s, elderly care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care workers and those who are “clinically extremely vulnerable” their first dose by February 15.

A spokesperson for east London NHS confirmed earlier this week that it still hopes to meet the mid-February deadline to vaccinate the top four priority groups.

They said: “Staff are continuing to work to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, with amazing support from our colleagues in local councils and community and voluntary groups.”

Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter