Nine in 10 over 70s vaccinated against Covid in region

Take-up of the vaccine in the West Midlands was today hailed as “incredible”.

New figures reveal more than 90 per cent of the over-70s have taken their injection. The figure is far higher than experts had hoped for – and will help our region get out of lockdown.

The latest data shows that 196,500 people aged 70 and over in the region have received the first dose of the vaccine.

It comes as anyone aged 65 to 69 years old in the West Midlands who has not yet been vaccinated is now being urged to respond to their invites.

People aged below 65 will also start to be called forward this week, NHS England has announced.

In Stafford, 98.5 per cent of over 70s have had their first dose. The figure in Cannock Chase is 97.2 per cent, 95.2 per cent in Dudley, 92.8 per cent in Walsall and 90.3 per cent in Wolverhampton.

The figure drops to 86.4 per cent in Sandwell and West Birmingham. The two areas are grouped together under the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), but Sandwell's vaccination rate for over 70s is actually higher – and sits at approximately 90 per cent, Sandwell Council's director of public health Dr Lisa McNally confirmed.

The overall 90 per cent figure is way above the 75 per cent take-up that many experts had predicted. It means the population will be better protected and that further waves are less likely.

Sally Roberts, chief nurse for the Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs, said: “We are making incredible progress with our vaccination rollout.

“Thanks to the hard work of so many, over 150,000 people aged 70 or over have already received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“To ensure no one is left behind, we continue to work with public health colleagues and trusted community voices to make contact with people who have not yet responded to the offer of a jab.

"My message to everyone is to get your jab when it’s offered, and for those people in the top four priority groups, please get in touch directly to book your appointment.”

Dr Paddy Hannigan, clinical lead for the Staffordshire Covid vaccine programme, said: “This is most successful vaccination programme we have ever carried out in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent but there is still a long way to go.”

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