Nearly two-thirds of over-50s in some areas have had extra vaccine dose
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Nearly two-thirds of all people aged 50 and over in some local areas of England are likely to have received an extra dose of Covid-19 vaccine – though the figure is closer to one-third in a handful of places.
The differences in take-up have been revealed by figures that show for the first time the number of extra doses delivered by local authority area.
Hertsmere in Hertfordshire is estimated to have the highest proportion of people aged 50 and over to have received either a booster or third dose of vaccine, at 66.3%.
Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire is next on 65.9%, followed by Harrow in London (65.8%), Hart in Hampshire (65.4%) and Horsham in West Sussex (64.3%).
By contrast, the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets (29.4%), Newham (32.4%) and City of London/Hackney (32.8%) have the lowest proportion, followed by Hastings in East Sussex (36.3%), Westminster in London (36.5%) and Nottingham (36.6%).
Not everyone aged 50 or over will yet be eligible for an extra jab, as booster doses cannot be delivered until six months after a second dose, while third doses can only be given eight weeks later.
The numbers give an indication of how take-up varies across England, following the decision two months ago by the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to recommend a booster programme for over-50s.
The figures have been published by NHS England and are for vaccinations given up to November 21.
Percentages are based on the latest population estimates for local authorities from the Office for National Statistics, which are for mid-2020.
Of the 307 areas in England for which data is available, around three in 10 (95) are estimated to have given an extra dose of vaccine to less than half of the total number of people aged 50 and over, according to analysis by the PA news agency.
There are 20 areas where more than 60% of all over-50s are likely to have received the extra jab.
Among some of the largest local authorities in England, 46.7% of over-50s in Birmingham are estimated to have had an extra dose, with 47.7% in Manchester, 48.1% in Liverpool and 51.9% in Sheffield.
Booster doses have just been extended to all over-40s, following recommendation last week by the JCVI.
Other groups currently able to receive a booster – six months after a second dose – include frontline health and social care workers, along with adults aged 16 and over with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe coronavirus.
Third doses are available eight weeks after a second dose to people aged 12 and over with severely weakened immune systems.