Stark divide emerges over Derbyshire covid vaccinations
The Covid-19 vaccination roll-out and the “lumpy” supply of jabs has left Derbyshire with a stark divide between who has been given a vaccine, who has had two doses and those who remain entirely unprotected.
As of the latest NHS England figures, on average, for every three adults in the county and city, one has had one vaccine dose, one has had two doses (the prospect of full protection) and one has not had a jab at all.
The population of Derbyshire which remains entirely unvaccinated is largely those under the age of 35, not in frontline health and social care roles and without specific underlying health risks – the parts of the population not yet eligible for vaccines.
A total of 594,831 Derbyshire residents have now had their first vaccine doses, as of May 2, representing 70.75 per cent of the adult population. Of those who have had one dose, the vast majority (96.31 per cent) are aged 50+.
Meanwhile, a total of 251,683 Derbyshire residents have had both vaccine doses, representing 29.94 per cent of the adult population.
Nearly half of these residents (49.25 per cent) are aged 50+. This is due to the early focus of the vaccine roll-out on frontline health and social care, many of which are below the age of 50.
The rift that is forming between the unvaccinated and those who now have total protection has been created due to a lack of jab supplies.
For the past two months the vaccination roll-out has largely, and almost entirely throughout April, focussed on second dose appointments.
In the past week of Derbyshire jabs this has seen three quarters (76.62 per cent) of all vaccines given to people receiving their second doses, a total of 31,936 out of the 41,683 administered.
Towards the end of April, Dr Robyn Dewis, public health director at Derby City Council, said that the unvaccinated population may trigger a further wave of Covid-19.
That is because the population who are unvaccinated are the group most likely to be working outside of their homes and unable to work from home, and to be the most likely to be out socialising.
A speedy vaccination process, she said, could delay and reduce the peak of a further wave – meaning fewer infections and deaths.
England is pressing ahead with plans, Boris Johnson is due to announce, to proceed with the next step of Covid-19 restriction easing.
From May 17, people will be allowed to meet indoors, in groups of up to six people or two households.
Meanwhile, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to cater for customers indoors.
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.