Are you one of the over 65s in Newham who hasn't had Covid jab yet?
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Three-out-of-10 people over 60 still haven’t had their Covid jabs yet in Newham, health figures reveal.
The GPs’ commissioning group for Newham has one of the lowest vaccination rates in London, according to NHS data.
Just 70 per cent of over 65s had their first dose in the 12 weeks to March 7 - 27,500 people - while 38,000 under-60s had their first jab.
Neighbouring Tower Hamlets was even worse, with only one in three over 65s being vaccinated, or 66pc. That is the second poorest rate in London after Westminster.
Areas in east London “could be left behind” if vaccine supply and people’s reluctance isn’t resolved, London Assembly’s Unmesh Desai warns.
“This is a race against the virus,” he said. “More government support is needed to fill the gaps. We need to act now with lockdown starting to ease. Otherwise, our community could be left more vulnerable.”
Mr Desai, who represents Newham and east London at City Hall, is calling for government ministers to look at areas which might need “that extra boost in vaccine supplies”.
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He said: “Continuing to say it’s a problem in ethnic communities is inaccurate and potentially a counter-productive generalisation.
“The government and local authority must target resources towards alleviating concerns that some people have towards getting their first dose.”
The minister responsible for vaccine distribution, Nadhim Zahawi, predicted last week there will be “bumper weeks” for the rollout in London. But Mr Desai is urging the government to look at gaps in uptake and direct any increased supplies of doses to areas like Newham that are lagging behind.
It is not much better in other parts of east London, with fewer than 21,000 over 65s in Barking & Dagenham having had their first vaccinations - 76pc. That's the seventh worst area.
One east London GP, Dr Abdul Kamali, made a public appeal last month when he said: “People from ethnic backgrounds can be more vulnerable to Covid-19 — which is why it’s important that we’re all vaccinated.”
The poor take-up compares to areas like Harrow, top of the vaccine table, with almost 90pc of over 65s receiving their first dose.