Region's Covid jab take-up rate is among the lowest in the UK

New figures show the region is lagging behind national average take-up rates for the coronavirus jab with the Black Country the lowest.

The UK average is 89.5 per cent of people have had a first dose of the vaccine and 81.7 per cent have had a second dose 81.7.

But the data shows that, as of Saturday, for eligible people aged 12 and over, up to and including December 18:

  • In Wolverhampton 72.6 per cent have had a first dose and 65.8 per cent a second dose

  • In Dudley 83.2 per cent have had a first dose and 76.9 per cent a second dose

  • In Sandwell 73.2 per cent have had a first dose and 66.1 per cent a second dose

  • In Walsall 79.0 per cent have had a first dose and 72.1 per cent a second dose

These figures are provided by the Government which also shares the percentage of people to have had a booster jab, which is currently available to everyone aged 18 or over and some younger people who are carers or have health conditions.

Despite the vast majority of people aged between 12 and 18 not being eligible for booster jabs, the Government percentage is a proportion of everybody aged 12 and over. Thus the figures are far lower than the percentage of eligible people to have received a booster jab.

In Sandwell, for example, around two thirds of eligible adults have now had a booster but the figure provided by the Government is almost half that due to younger ineligible people being included.

Across the UK 48.8 per cent of people aged 12 or over have had a booster jab.

Across the Black Country, the figures are:

  • Wolverhampton: 36.7 per cent

  • Dudley: 49.6 per cent

  • Sandwell 36.2 per cent

  • Walsall: 43 per cent.

Wolverhampton South West MP Stuart Anderson said he took two of his children to get jabbed at the Mander Centre vaccination centre yesterday.

He said: "I can't stress how important it is, particularly in the face of rising cases, for us all to get vaccinated. We must all play our part in this ongoing battle."

Despite lower than average take up rates, since December 13 more than 110,000 people across the four boroughs and West Birmingham have received a Covid-19 vaccine, with almost 100,000 of these booster doses.

NHS Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group chief nursing officer Sally Roberts said: “Since the start of the vaccination programme we’ve delivered over 2.2 million first, second and booster doses across the Black Country and West Birmingham which is a fantastic achievement, however, there’s still thousands of people who are yet to be vaccinated.

“Huge efforts are being made to ensure we can get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible, including offering extended opening hours at existing sites and standing up more walk-in vaccination clinics, as well as supporting our GPs and community pharmacies to help deliver vaccines.”

In most of Staffordshire the rates are comparatively better with Stafford borough hitting 86.4 per cent, 80.4 per cent and 53.2 per cent respectively. In Cannock 87.7 per cent, 81.6 per cent and 52.6 per cent and in Lichfield 88.6 per cent, 82.7 per cent and 56.1 per cent.

Staffordshire's vaccination programme clinical leader Dr Paddy Hannigan said: “We’re absolutely delighted that we’ve been able offer two million jabs to people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as it means that they are now better protected against Covid-19, which will keep them and their loved ones safer, and help to reduce the strain upon our local health services – especially during the busy winter period.

“As the discovery of the Omicron variant has shown, Covid-19 is still a very real threat to people in our community and we would urge anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to come forward and get their jab to give themselves the best possible protection against the coronavirus."

Meanwhile in Wyre Forest which covers Kidderminster and Bewdley it stands at 87.4 per cent, 81.5 per cent and 56 per cent respectively.

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