Vaccine first doses in North London lagging behind

Haringey residents encouraged to get Covid-19 vaccination as local take-up lags well below average

Credit: Stephen Furner

By James Cracknell and Luchia Robinson

First-dose vaccinations among over-70s in North London are lagging behind almost every other part of England.

The latest data from NHS England shows that first-dose Covid-19 jabs have now been given to 78.2% of people aged over 70 years living in Haringey, Enfield, Barnet, Camden and Islington, compared to an average of 86% across England. The NHS does not provide individual borough-level data.

The vaccine rate for the over-70s in North London is lower than every other NHS area in England aside from East London. When it comes to those aged over 80, the rate in North London is even lower, with just 76.3% having received their first dose, compared with an England average of 91.3%.

However, when it comes to the delivery of second doses, North London is one of the best-performing in England, with 18.29% of over-80s now having had both jabs. This compares to an average second-jab rate in this age group across England of 11.9%.

The government announced this week that everyone in its top four priority groups (the over 70s, clinically extremely vulnerable, care home staff for older adults, and frontline health and social workers) had been offered a jab, with 15 million people having now received a first dose. In London, 1.5 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with the capital just shy of hitting its target.

As a frontline worker, resident Susannah Fairweather, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, was part of the priority groups to receive the vaccine, she said:

“The vaccine was very straight forward to receive, and the nurse was very professional. There was a really good atmosphere amongst everyone attending.

“I felt strangely emotional afterwards because I was so happy to be part of the movement to move us out of the crisis we are experiencing.”

Susannah added: “We have vaccines for many other diseases and having one for Covid-19 should feel no different. I think getting the vaccine is not just helpful for you as an individual, but it is a part of keeping the whole community safe.”

There remains concern that a significant number of people are not taking up their vaccination offers, particularly in areas with larger ethnic-minority populations.

To help tackle the issue, Haringey Council is holding a vaccines webinar at 7pm on Tuesday, 23rd February. The webinar held via Facebook Live and Microsoft Teams will feature local experts and doctors who can offer advice, answer questions and provide updates on the vaccination programme in the borough.

The vaccine is now being rolled out to people aged 65-69.

Anyone over the age of 70 who has not yet received their first dose is urged to book an appointment online or by calling 119.  

Click here for more information from the NHS.

News for local communities is essential. Tottenham Community Press needs your support to keep making it. Please support us by signing up as a member.