Nearly one in every three people in Derbyshire aged over 16 has had a Covid-19 vaccine.
The latest statistics from NHS England, showing jabs up to February 14, shows 257,746 Derbyshire residents have now had their first Covid-19 vaccine dose, up from 222,792 in the previous week of data.
This is 96.5 per cent of all those in the county and city aged 70 and above and 30.66% of all those aged 16 and above, the majority of whom are likely to be of retirement age.
These statistics rank Derbyshire 16th and 15th in England respectively.
In the previous week of data the county had ranked second in England for percentage of jabs administered to those aged 70 and above.
Somerset is top of the charts in both categories with 99.28 per cent and 35.71 per cent respectively.
However, this week’s stats will not, due to only counting jabs up to Feb 14, include the large increase in vaccines being given to further groups such as those aged 65-69 which started from February 15. That surge will show in next week’s data.
In total, 3,695 Derbyshire residents have had their second vaccine doses.
This number is set to increase rapidly through March and April, by which point it will have been the set 12 weeks between jabs for those who were first to have them.
Those vaccinated include: residents in care homes and their carers; patients ages 80 or over and frontline health and social care workers; patients aged 75 and over; and patients aged 70 and over, alongside any residents aged 16-69 who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
This week saw the smallest weekly number of jabs administered in the county, with 39,954 additional Derbyshire residents getting their vaccines, down from 54,000 in the previous week of data, to February 7.
Health officials did expect it would be harder to achieve high turnaround in jabs as organisations reached the tail end of each priority group, to which vaccines were restricted.
They also suspected that black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) may represent a disproportionate number of those yet to be vaccinated.
NHS England data appears to support this with BAME residents in Derbyshire representing 5.7 per cent of all vaccinations, despite making up 14.45 per cent of the county, as of the 2011 census.
BAME residents are more at risk from the virus and a disproportionate number of the BAME population have been dying from Covid-19, national data shows.
Joined Up Care Derbyshire, which is overseeing the county’s vaccination programme as a partnership of all health and social care organisations, has been stepping up its efforts to reach communities which have lower take-up of the vaccine.
The organisation particularly wants to stress to residents in the Afro-Caribbean community that the vaccines are safe and effective.
It is also asking all patients aged 70 and above who have not been vaccinated to get in touch with their GP.
In addition, it is urging all those aged 65 and above, who are now eligible to be vaccinated, to make a booking when contacted.
This week, Derbyshire started vaccinating residents aged 65 to 69, alongside residents aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which leave them at higher risk if they were to contract Covid-19.
It is also pushing for residents who are carers for the elderly or disabled to take up the vaccine and make themselves known if they have not already been contacted by contacting their GP or local authority – Derbyshire County Council or Derby City Council.
All residents contacted by their GP or the NHS national booking service are urged to book an appointment as soon as possible. Those contacted by the NHS national booking service can make an appointment online or on the phone.
An NHS staff member preparing a Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: Nigel Wood.
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