OPINION - Revealed: London’s unvaccinated hotspots

·2-min read
 (West End Final)
(West End Final)

Last week, the Standard reported that up to 2.7 million Londoners aged 16 or older had not received their first jab. Today, our Health Editor Ross Lydall has run the numbers and we can now reveal the capital’s unvaccinated hotspots.

Nine local authorities each have more than 100,000 unvaccinated residents. Newham leads the way with more than 130,000 people aged 18 or older who have not had a first vaccination, followed by Brent, Lambeth and Ealing.

Our analysis also found that Westminster had the highest rate of unvaccinated adults, with an eye-watering (or should that be cough-inducing) 40 per cent of over-18s unvaccinated.

This matters because vaccines are – and forgive the epidemiological jargon – really, really good at preventing serious illness and death. To illustrate this, more than 90 per cent of 18-39 year olds admitted to intensive care were unvaccinated, according to this week’s Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre report.

Boosters make a massive difference (it has been suggested we should be calling them ‘third doses’, as it seems as if a three-dose regimen may be what is necessary for the fullest protection.)

Indeed, they drive protection to *even higher* than that after a second dose. We should be doing lots of them! The only issue is that, to state the mildly obvious, you can only give a third dose to someone who’s already received their first two.

As the FT’s stats wizard John Burn-Murdoch pointed out on Twitter today, practically everyone in Austria who received a second dose six months ago has had a booster shot. So why is the country in lockdown?

Well, its high unjabbed population meant that these third doses only dragged its share of people with low protection from being exceptionally high to high, and they were rolled out too late for the current wave. The lesson? We must not give up on reaching the great unvaxxed.

Elsewhere in the paper, the Home Affairs Committee has said the Home Office should be stripped of responsibility for the Windrush compensation scheme, after MPs identified a “litany of flaws” in the way it operates.

In the comment pages, Tom Newton Dunn writes that Boris Johnson needs to appoint a Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party, and a few names are doing the rounds.

Meanwhile Simon English says don’t rush to cast Bain Capital as the villain in the battle for LV=.

And finally, we review Amy: Beyond the Stage, the new exhibition at the Design Museum, which Jochan Embley calls a heartfelt and intimate celebration of a London icon. Which is nicer than what Amy called Madonna and Britney in a 2004 interview with the Standard on display.

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