The local vaccination rate has been welcomed by senior members of Staffordshire County Council as the jab roll-out is extended to the over-40s.
Everyone now eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination has been urged to take up the offer to help the area make its way out of the pandemic.
Speaking at the latest cabinet meeting council leader Alan White said: “Staffordshire’s Covid rate is now significantly below the England and West Midlands.
“Vaccination rates in the county and Stoke on Trent are amongst the very best in the UK and we need to thank our colleagues in the NHS for all their support they have given us in delivery of that vaccine.”
A report from the Covid Member Led Local Outbreak Control Board revealed the progress of the vaccination programme in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent.
It said: “The Covid vaccination programme continues to make good progress and the vaccine is proving effective at limiting the number of cases and complications. The NHS has now vaccinated over 500,000 people in Staffordshire with a first dose, and 100,000 with a second dose.
“The vaccination programme is proceeding according to the priority order defined by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation and has now reached people in their 40s.
“There has been some concern about very rare side effects associated with the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. For the vast majority of people the benefit of vaccination far outweighs any risk.
“People under 30 may wish to choose one of the other vaccines. Getting the whole population vaccinated is crucial to protect vulnerable people, maintain the freedoms we have won and get the rest of the restrictions lifted.”
Councillor Johnny McMahon, cabinet member for health, care and wellbeing, told fellow cabinet members: “We in Staffordshire can enjoy great success in what has happened over the past few weeks.
“We’ve seen schools open, people being able to meet outside and non-essential retail, libraries, community centres and the like opened. We can see further opening of the economy and society on May 17 and June 21, provided the data remains strong. We can proudly say in Staffordshire that we’ve played our bit.
“The vaccine rollout has gone very well – we’ve been promised, despite the geopolitical issues of vaccine supply, that all those who needed it would get a second dose. We’re more than 99 per cent there for the second dose, which is something I think we can be hugely proud of.
“We continue to do the first doses for those above the age of 50 and we’ve had a 90 per cent uptake, with only two per cent decline at this stage. We’ve made significant steps forward to reach the hard to reach groups – ethnic minorities, the homeless, those with severe mental illness and the like – and we’re making progress there.
“In the care home staff vaccination programme, which is something that we play a particular role in at the county council, we have seen an 86 per cent uptake, which is more than seven per cent more than the national average.”