Rate of COVID vaccinations in Westminter ‘lowest in England’

Rate of COVID vaccinations in Westminter ‘lowest in England’

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Covid vaccine rates in Westminster were the lowest in England by mid March, despite efforts to encourage residents to get the jab.

It meant up to March 18 Central London CCG had given out 45,251 vaccine doses in Westminster, including 4,387 second doses.

Councillor Nafsika Butler-Thalassis,  said: “It’s extremely worrying for Westminster residents to hear that we have the lowest vaccination rates in the country.”

The Maida Vale councillor,  who is Labour’s deputy leader of the council added:

“All possible barriers to vaccination need to be looked at from vaccine supply, transport, location of vaccination clinics, information and communications and vaccine hesitancy.

In the Central London CCG area (Westminster), 60.3 per cent , or 4,368  of over 80-year-olds have been vaccinated by March 18.

And  62.8 per cent , or 3,968,  70-74-year-olds were vaccinated, with  58.6 per cent , or 4,325  65-69-year-olds have been vaccinated.

In Harrow, west London 90 per cent of the over 80s had been given at least one dose of the vaccine by March 18.

Moves to boost vaccination include  a new ‘pop-up’ vaccination clinic at the Beethoven Centre on Third Avenue which could be more convenient for residents living in the north of the borough in Queens Park or Harrow Road.

Some of them found it hard to get to  the clinics at Lord’s cricket ground or St Charles Hospital in North Kensington. 

Council leader Rachael Robathan had said she was frustrated that the authority was told it could not provide transport because of Covid risks.

The Conservative leader has also campaigned to get residents the information they need to address any concerns and hit out at Covid misinformation. 

“I have been extremely troubled to see dangerous narratives around the vaccines emerging within our communities,” she said.

Vaccine centres in Westminster include Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey, which was recently visited by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the South Westminster Centre in Pimlico.

 A North West London Health and Care Partnership spokeswoman said  Westminster “has seen the highest improvement in vaccination rates over the last month across all priority vaccination cohorts, including a 22 per cent increase in people aged between 70-74 being vaccinated in the past month, and we expect to see this increase continue.”   

She said as the vaccination programme went on there’s also been a 15.5 per cent increase of  clinically extremely vulnerable people getting the jab, along with a 4.2 per cent rise in the over 80s getting vaccinated, and a 6.7 per cent increase in 75-79 year olds.

Westminster City Council and health workers have joined forces to encourage more people to get vaccinated and hosted a series of events answering people’s questions about the jab.

She said uptake has been less in urban areas across England and many people who had homes elsewhere left London during the pandemic.

However they are included on resident data even if they are currently living elsewhere and may be getting the jab where they are staying.

She added: “We also have communities that we need to work with and support in terms of hesitancy and trust and access. 

“This is where we have been working in terms of pop-up clinics and outreach.”

 
 
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