Three areas of London have lowest vaccination rate in the country among young teenagers

·2-min read
Children receiving Covid-19 vaccinations (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
Children receiving Covid-19 vaccinations (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

Three areas of London have the lowest take-up of the Covid vaccine among young teenagers in England, according to the latest figures.

Just 3.5% of people aged 12 to 15 have received their first dose in Barking & Dagenham while the rate stands at just 5.2% in Newham and Lewisham.

Meanwhile, just 15 authorities in England have managed to give a first jab to at least a quarter of 12 to 15-year-olds.

Richmond upon Thames has the highest vaccination rate among teenagers in London at 25.8%. This is followed by 25% in Harrow and 22.1% in Barnet.

The picture is very different in Scotland where take-up is already over 50% in half of local authority areas.

First doses of Covid-19 vaccine began to be rolled out to all the UK’s 3.2 million 12 to 15-year-olds nearly a month ago.

But figures for England and Scotland – the two nations currently publishing daily statistics on take-up – show wide variations across the countries.

In Scotland, 16 of the 32 local authority areas have now given a first dose to at least 50 per cent of all 12 to 15-year-olds, with Dumfries & Galloway recording the highest take-up (62.9 per cent) followed by Perth & Kinross (62.6 per cent) and the Orkney Islands (62.1 per cent).

Take-up among 12 to 15-year-olds for the whole of Scotland now stands at 46.5 per cent, compared with just 15.0 per cent in England.

First doses of Covid-19 vaccine for young teenagers are being delivered in different ways in the two nations.

In England, jabs are being carried out in schools by nurses and immunisation teams.

By contrast, in Scotland doses can be received by attending drop-in vaccination centres at GP clinics, pharmacies and community centres.

Around one in 10 children in England in school years 7 to 11 were likely to have tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to October 9 – the highest rate for any age group – according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

In a joint letter to parents of secondary school and college pupils last week, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and Health Secretary Sajid Javid asked for parents’ “support” to encourage their children to test themselves for Covid-19 twice a week and to “come forward” for the jab to ensure face-to-face lessons can continue.

“This is one of the best things young people can do to protect themselves and those around them,” the letter said.

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