South west London is putting in a strong performance when it comes to vaccination of its under 30s, as nearly two-thirds of 25-29-year-olds were jabbed by 20 June, the highest rate in London.
It has been just under three weeks since all adults over 25 in England, who have not yet received a COVID-19 jab, were invited to book their first dose on 8 June, and the uptake in south west London has been over 12% above average.
That first day saw the most bookings ever made in a single day, with 1,082,596 slots booked and appointments being snapped up at the rate of 100,000 an hour before 12pm, approximately four times quicker than usual.
Now all adults over 18 have been eligible for the jab for just over a week, data is becoming available that reflects the keenness of younger adults in the country to become immunised against coronavirus.
In London, as of 20 June, the most recently released weekly report, over half of those aged 25–29 have already had at least one dose of the vaccine, with 51.4% of the age group in the capital at least semi-immunised, slightly below the national average of 52.8%.
South west London’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout has covered an impressive 63.6% of the area’s 25–29 year-old population, the highest percentage rate out of the five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the capital so far, and significantly above both the London and national average.
NHS North East London CCG registered the lowest percentage rate of 44.2%, but given its larger population has still delivered 110,532 first and second doses to the age group, which is actually the second largest number among the London CCGs.
The road to a return to normality
Dr Shameer Shah of Enderley Road Medical Centre, Harrow, was involved in the London-wide vaccination rollout was pleased by the figures and keen to emphasise the necessity for younger adults to get the jab.
He said: “It is reassuring to see that there has been a high uptake of the vaccination in this age group. Young people are often more mobile so it’s easier for them to get to the vaccination centres, which might explain a higher uptake.
“It’s also generally reassuring there has been a high uptake by the working age group.
“These cohorts are more likely to be asymptomatic carriers. By ensuring that they are vaccinated, it increases the herd immunity and therefore should reduce future outbreaks in the community and quicken a return to normality.
“A lot of minor ethnic groups remain hesitant in the vaccination, which is slowly being overcome given that they are often the group at the highest risk of COVID-19 related complications.
“A lot of work has gone into reassuring the population on the effectiveness of the vaccination and real-world data now shows that there is approximately 80% reduction in hospitalisation in those having had two vaccination courses.
“Hopefully, this will further reassure the patients in these regions to come forward and get immunised.”
Around English regions outside of London, the vaccination rate for 25–29s hovers just above 50%, with the East of England highest at 56.1% and the Midlands lowest at 49.7%.
The country’s total percentage of 25–29-year-olds vaccinated is 52.8%, which also accounts for those who have had at least one dose and either have a registered address in Scotland or Wales, or whose address is unknown.
With the latest weekly report data only including a few days’ worth of vaccination appointments where over 18s were freely invited to book, it’s still interesting to note the number of jabs that have been given to the under 25 age group.
Comparing data between last week and this week’s report, which took in just three days of blanket appointment availability for adults, London CCGs gave out many thousand vaccinations to under 25s – 78,145 in total.
Of those, 14,942 were in south west London, putting in directly in the middle of London’s five CCGs on pure numbers.
Our NHS: “The envy of the world”
When reflecting on the past six months and the NHS’s vaccination scheme rollout, Dr Shah spoke of the “monumental effort” it has taken from the Government, the NHS and all its workers, and all those who volunteered.
He added: “The vaccination programme was rolled out with quick reaction times, dealing with daily emerging new data and support from the Government was incredible, given the monumental effort it took.
“We should not forget all the hard-working health care staff, the local managers and the volunteers without whom none of this would have been possible, as they often gave up their own free time to help their local communities.
“This has made the NHS the envy of the world.”