One year from UK’s first Covid-19 jab, how many are still unvaccinated?

·5 min read
One year from UK’s first Covid-19 jab, how many are still unvaccinated?

One year on from Margaret Keenan becoming the first person in the world to receive a Covid-19 jab as part of a mass vaccination programme, around one in 10 eligible people in the UK – 6.4 million – remain unvaccinated.

Ms Keenan, aged 90 at the time, was given the dose at University Hospital in Coventry on December 8 2020.

Since then, just over 51 million first doses of vaccine have been given in the UK, along with more than 46 million second doses and 20 million extra doses.

But there are still people in all age groups who have not received any, including nearly one in four young adults.

Here is a snapshot of the current numbers, compiled by the PA news agency.

All figures are based on data from the UK’s health agencies for vaccinations delivered up to December 5, plus the latest official population estimates, which are for mid-2020.

 (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Total eligible population

Everyone aged 12 and over in the UK is eligible for a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine – around 57.5 million people.

Of this total, 51.1 million have received one jab (89 per cent) while 6.4 million (11 per cent) have not.

Across the four UK nations, Scotland has the lowest proportion of eligible people who are still unvaccinated (9 per cent), followed by Wales (10 per cent), England (11 per cent) and Northern Ireland (14 per cent).

People aged 50 and over

Everyone in the UK aged 50 and over was invited for a first dose of vaccine during the initial stage of the rollout from December 2020 to April 2021.

Take-up in this age group has been extremely high, with only around 1 per cent overall unvaccinated.

The level varies slightly across the nations, with 5 per cent in Wales, 2 per cent in England and 1 per cent in Northern Ireland, while in Scotland the number of over-50s who have received a first jab is actually greater than the population estimate for this age group.

30- to 49-year-olds

First doses were extended to people in their 30s and 40s in April and May this year.

Take-up in these groups has been high, with around 12 per cent of people in the UK aged 30 to 49 – around two million people – currently unvaccinated.

The figure is smaller for people aged 40-49 (9 per cent) than 30- to 39-year-olds (15 per cent).

 (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

18- to 29-year-olds

Take-up has been lower among young adults.

An estimated 24 per cent of 18- to 29-year-olds in the UK are still unvaccinated – the equivalent of around 2.4 million people.

First doses were extended to this age group from June this year.

England has the highest proportion of young adults yet to receive a jab (24 per cent), followed by Northern Ireland (23 per cent) and Scotland and Wales (both 21 per cent).

16- to 17-year-olds

Teenagers aged 16 and 17 were recommended for a first dose of vaccine in August this year.

Since then, around two-thirds of all 16- to 17-year-olds have received a jab, with roughly one-third still unvaccinated – the equivalent of just under half a million people.

Wales (20 per cent) and Scotland (22 per cent) have the lowest proportion yet to have the jab, with England on 34 per cent and Northern Ireland 38 per cent.

12- to 15-year-olds

First doses of vaccine were extended to 12- to 15-year-olds in September, but they have been rolled out in different ways across the UK.

In Scotland, jabs have been available since September 20 and have been delivered mostly at drop-in clinics and other community settings.

Around 60 per cent of 12- to 15-year-olds have now had a first dose, with 40 per cent unvaccinated.

Wales rolled out first doses to this age group from October 4, with most being given at vaccination centres and a small number in schools, and 37 per cent remain unvaccinated.

The rollout in England began on September 20 and was initially delivered mainly by NHS teams in schools.

This changed just before the half-term holiday, when parents and children became able to book a jab online at a local vaccination centre, and the figure currently stands at 54 per cent unvaccinated.

In Northern Ireland, 12- to 15-year-olds have been offered the vaccine in schools since early October, and the proportion who are unvaccinated stands at 62 per cent.

 (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Pregnant women

Figures published by the Health Security Agency (HSA) show that in England 97 per cent of women giving birth in May 2021 were unvaccinated.

This had dropped to 90 per cent of women who gave birth in June, 84 per cent in July and 77 per cent in August.

Separate figures from Public Health Wales show that 69 per cent of women in Wales who gave birth in September were unvaccinated, down from 96 per cent in May.

Hospital admissions

Further HSA data shows that of the 8,388 people aged 80 or over with Covid-19 who were admitted to hospitals in England in the four weeks to November 28, 7,115 (85 per cent) had received two doses of vaccine at least 14 days before testing positive, while 559 (7 per cent) were unvaccinated.

For people aged 70-79, the total admitted was 21,911, with 19,330 (88 per cent) testing positive at least 14 days after both jabs and 1,059 (5 per cent) unvaccinated.

These figures reflect the very high vaccination coverage among these age groups, the HSA said, and “even with a highly effective vaccine, it is expected a large proportion of cases, hospitalisations and deaths will occur in vaccinated individuals, simply because a larger proportion of the population are vaccinated than unvaccinated and no vaccine is 100 per cent effective.

“This is especially true because vaccination has been prioritised in individuals who are more susceptible or more at risk of severe disease.”

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