Revealed: The London borough in first place in Covid vaccine race

·3 min read
 (PA)
(PA)

Richmond was on Monday revealed to be in first place in the race to vaccinate adult Londoners, according to Evening Standard research.

A total of 132,627 residents of the affluent south-west London borough have received one dose – 85 per cent of its 156,399 population aged 16 or older.

Richmond was also one of the best-performing areas for second jabs, with 86,103 residents having received both doses – 55 per cent of the borough’s adults.

Merton was second best, with 80 per cent of residents – a total of 129,611 - having received a first dose.

But in terms of the number of jabs administered, Barnet came out top with 222,379 first doses having been received up until close of play on Saturday.

Barnet is one of five London boroughs with more than 200,000 residents having received at least a first jab – the others are Croydon (208,702), Bromley (208,415), Ealing (207,628) and Wandsworth (200,148).

More residents of Barnet than any other borough have also received a second jab – 161,078.

The Standard’s analysis is based on vaccination figures published daily by NHS England, with the most recent numbers being accurate up to the end of Saturday night.

Westminster residents had the lowest take-up rate of first doses, at 55 per cent or 120,158 of the borough’s estimated adult population of 217,237.

However it is likely that a large number of Westminster’s pre-pandemic population has moved out of the city, either to a second home or back abroad, meaning its take-up rate may be better than reported.

A Westminster City Council spokesperson said: “We’re very concerned by the figures suggesting that the number of residents being vaccinated in Westminster is lower than elsewhere and we are working closely with the NHS to support residents to take-up their vaccinations.

“In partnership with North West London NHS colleagues, we have launched the vaccine bus and a series of pop-up vaccination centres in key locations to bring vaccines directly into our communities. We’re also promoting the mass vaccination centres to encourage the uptake of vaccines, particularly among our younger residents.

“The council has supported our communities throughout this pandemic by providing additional help to our most vulnerable residents, and by working closely with our NHS partners to deliver efficient testing and vaccination services.”

Boris Johnson said last week that he wants all adults over 18 to be offered a first jab by July 19, and for two-thirds of adults to have been double-jabbed by the same date, to enable the final lockdown restrictions to be lifted.

London still has to deliver 1,931,028 first doses and 1,362,543 second doses to keep it in line with the Prime Minister’s national target.

The Standard has adopted NHS England’s use of the most up-to-date Office for National Statistics data on the adult population in each borough, based on the number of people aged 16+ in mid-2019 – meaning all should now be eligible for the vaccine.

The uptake rates are reported differently on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard as this uses the National Immunisation Management Service database, which overstates the size of the population and only includes vaccines given to people with a NHS number.

The NHS England data often has a “slight undercount” due to a lag in data reporting. However, unlike the dashboard, it “includes all individuals who have been vaccinated, even if they do not have an NHS number or are no longer in the resident population” – for example, such as the almost 20,000 Londoners who have died with Covid.

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