One year from UK’s first Covid-19 jab, how many are still unvaccinated?

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A year after Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to receive a COVID-19 jab as part of a mass vaccination programme, nearly one in 10 eligible people in the UK – 6.4 million – remained unvaccinated.

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Ms Keenan, then 90 years old, was administered a dose on 8 December 2020 at the University Hospital in Coventry.

Since then, just over 51 million first doses of the vaccine have been given in the UK, as well as over 46 million second doses and 20 million additional doses.


But there are still people in all age groups who haven’t got any, including one in four young adults.

Here is a snapshot of the current numbers, compiled by the PA news agency.

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All figures are based on data from UK health agencies for vaccinations given as of 5 December, as well as the latest official population estimates, which are for mid-2020.

(PA Graphics) , PA Graphics

– Total eligible population

Everyone in the UK 12 years of age and older is eligible for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – around 57.5 million people.

Of this, 51.1 million have received a jab (89%) while 64 million (11%) have not.

Of the four UK countries, Scotland has the lowest proportion of eligible people who are still illiterate (9%), followed by Wales (10%), England (11%) and Northern Ireland (14%).

– People aged 50 and over

All people 50 years of age and older in the UK were invited to have their first dose of the vaccine during the initial phase of the rollout from December 2020 to April 2021.

Take-up has been very high in this age group, with only about 1% overall being unrelated.

Levels vary slightly across nations, with 5% in Wales, 2% in England and 1% in Northern Ireland, while the number of people over 50 in Scotland who have received the jab for the first time is actually higher than the population estimate for this age. is more. Group.

– 30- to 49-year-olds

The first doses were given to people in their 30s and 40s in April and May of this year.

Take-up has been high in these groups, with around 12% of people aged 30 to 49 in the UK – around two million people – currently uninsured.

This figure is smaller for people aged 40–49 (9%) than for those aged 30– to 39 years (15%).

(PA Graphics) , PA Graphics

– 18- to 29-year-olds

Take-up has been low among young adults.

An estimated 24% of 18- to 29-year-olds in the UK are still not vaccinated – the equivalent of about 2.4 million people.

The first dose for this age group was increased from June this year.

England has the highest proportion of young adults yet to receive the jab (24%), followed by Northern Ireland (23%) and Scotland and Wales (both 21%).

– 16- to 17-year-olds

Adolescents between the ages of 16 and 17 were recommended for the first dose of the vaccine in August this year.

Since then, nearly two-thirds of all 16- to 17-year-olds have received a jab, with about one-third still illiterate—the equivalent of less than half a million people.

Wales (20%) and Scotland (22%) still have the lowest proportion, with England at 34% and Northern Ireland at 38%.

– 12- to 15-year-olds

The first dose of the vaccine was extended to 12 to 15-year-olds in September, but they have been rolled out in different ways across the UK.

In Scotland, jabs have been available since 20 September and are mostly delivered in drop-in clinics and other community settings.

About 60% of 12- to 15-year-olds have now received the first dose, 40% without vaccination.

Wales began the first doses for this age group on 4 October, most of which were given in a small number of immunization centers and schools, and 37% remained unvaccinated.

The rollout in England began on 20 September and was initially delivered to schools mainly by NHS teams.

That changed just before the half-term holiday, when parents and children were able to book jobs online at a local immunization center, and the figure is currently at 54% without vaccinations.

In Northern Ireland, 12 to 15-year-olds have been offered the vaccine in schools since early October, and the proportion of those who have not been vaccinated is 62%.

(PA Graphics) , PA Graphics

– pregnant women

Figures published by the Health Protection Agency (HSA) show that 97% of women who gave birth in May 2021 in England were not vaccinated.

This had dropped to 90% of women who gave birth in June, 84% in July, and 77% in August.

Separate figures from Public Health Wales show that 69% of women who gave birth in September in Wales were not vaccinated, up from 96% in May.

– hospital admissions

Further HSA data shows that out of 8,388 people aged 80 years or older with Covid-19 who were admitted to hospitals in England on 28 November, 7,115 (85%) tested positive at least Received two doses of the vaccine less than 14 days ago. , whereas 559 (7%) were not vaccinated.

For those aged 70-79, the total admission was 21,911, with 19,330 (88%) testing positive at least 14 days after both jabs and 1,059 (5%) unvaccinated.

These figures reflect very high vaccination coverage among these age groups, the HSA said, and “even with a highly effective vaccine, it is expected that the vast majority of cases in vaccinated individuals, There will be hospitalizations and deaths, simply because a large proportion of the population has not been vaccinated and no vaccine is 100% effective.

“This is especially true as vaccination has been prioritized in individuals who are more susceptible or at higher risk of serious disease.”


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