Vaccine first doses in North London lagging behind

Volunteers at the Dugdale in Enfield Town prepare to deliver vaccinations to local residents
Hospital staff and volunteers prepare to deliver vaccinations to local residents at the Dugdale in Enfield Town

Online event to encourage Enfield residents to get jabbed as local take-up lags well below average, reports James Cracknell

First-dose vaccinations among over-70s in North London are lagging behind almost every other part of England.

The latest data from NHS England shows that first-dose Covid-19 jabs have now been given to 78.2% of people aged over 70 years living in Enfield, Barnet, Haringey, Camden and Islington, compared to an average of 86% across England. The NHS does not provide individual borough-level data.

The vaccine rate for the over-70s in North London is lower than every other NHS area in England aside from East London. When it comes to those aged over 80, the rate in North London is even lower, with just 76.3% having received their first dose, compared with an England average of 91.3%.

However, when it comes to the delivery of second doses, North London is one of the best-performing in England, with 18.29% of over-80s now having had both jabs. This compares to an average second-jab rate in this age group across England of 11.9%.

North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which oversees the vaccine roll-out for five boroughs, was asked by the Dispatch whether it had prioritised giving out second doses for older age groups. The CCG did not respond.

Last month the Dispatch reported that many second-dose vaccine appointments in Enfield were not being postponed by GP surgeries, against the NHS England guidance issued in January to prioritise first jabs.

The government announced this week that everyone in its top four priority groups had been offered a jab, with 15 million people having now received a first dose. In London, 1.5 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with the capital just shy of hitting its target.

However, there remain concerns that a significant number of people are not taking up their vaccination offers, particularly in areas with larger ethnic-minority populations.

To help tackle the problem, an online event is being held at 1pm on Wednesday by Enfield Integrated Care Partnership, which is a coalition of local health providers, community groups, and Enfield Council. The webinar held via Zoom will feature local experts and doctors who can offer advice, answer questions and provide updates on the vaccination programme in Enfield borough.

Earlier this month, a new vaccine centre was opened at the Dugdale Centre in Enfield Town, run by North Middlesex University Hospital. The theatre now has capacity to vaccinate hundreds of people a day and will be staffed by hospital clinicians, as well as additional volunteers who have all received NHS training.

Maria Kane, chief executive of North Middlesex University Hospital, said: “Opening a vaccination centre in the heart of Enfield is an important milestone in our efforts to protect as many people as possible from coronavirus. I would like to thank everyone involved in setting it up and encourage everyone who is invited to have a vaccine to take it up, while continuing to follow guidance to reduce transmission of the virus.”

To join Wednesday’s Enfield vaccine webinar:
Visit zoom.us/j/95604763501

Anyone aged over 70 who has not yet received their first Covid-19 vaccination jab can book an appointment now:
Call 119
Visit nhs.uk/covid-vaccination