A quarter of Derbyshire adults have been fully vaccinated

A quarter of adults in Derbyshire are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, nearly five months into the vaccination roll-out.

An army of health and care staff and volunteers have been working overtime and some have come out of retirement to push the vaccination forward.

A total of 585,084 Derbyshire residents have now been vaccinated at least once against Covid-19, which represents nearly 70 per cent (69.59 per cent) of the county and city’s adult population.

This means two out of every three adults have had a Covid vaccine.

Almost all of these jabs (96.21 per cent) are to the 50+ population, which are the main groups which have been targeted for vaccination, with only at-risk groups and specific occupations prioritised outside of those age groups.

Meanwhile, 219,747 Derbyshire residents have now had both Covid-19 vaccine doses, which is 25.07% of the adult population – one in every four adults.

Of those who have received two doses, 40.85 per cent are to people aged 50 and above, largely due to the initial focus of the vaccination programme on frontline health and social care workers, alongside the most elderly.

However, the vast proportion of jabs being administered each week in the county, at the moment, due to vaccine supplies, are for people receiving their second doses.

In the week to April 22, the most recent statistics, second doses representing 83 per cent of the 63,591 vaccinations given out in Derbyshire.

Of the jabs given out in the last week – the level of which is pushing the county’s record high – just 17 per cent (10,694) are for Derbyshire residents receiving their first doses.

This means that the progress of the county and city’s population has slowed to a crawl – purely due to vaccine shortages – while larger and larger parts of Derbyshire gain the prospect of more immunity (through second doses).

A gulf is forming between the population which has had two vaccine doses and those who have not had one at all.

Local health chiefs have said they maintain confidence in their target to offer vaccines to all adults by the first week of August, but stress that this depends on vaccine supplies not only holding up, but increasing.

Vaccine shortages are the sole reason that the local vaccination programme has been instructed by the national NHS, not from local health chiefs, to focus purely on second dose appointments throughout April.

It was also instructed not to fill vacant slots.

All of this has seen local vaccination sites closed for days at a time, while the administering of jabs to the remaining care home residents and housebound patients has continued with what little supply remains.

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our vaccination programme continues to make phenomenal progress – with over 48 million vaccines administered so far.

“There are no shortages of first doses in the UK and the vaccination programme remains on track, with all adults due to be offered their first dose by the end of July.”

The department also said it had “always been clear” that supply of vaccines would fluctuate and that it remains in constant contact with manufacturers to understand and manage supply issues.

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