Mapped: How many Covid vaccines have been given out in your area?
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
One in four adults under 55 have received their first shot of the life-saving Covid vaccine in Suffolk and north Essex, it can be revealed.
NHS England data published Thursday shows just over a quarter of people aged 55 and below had been inoculated with first doses as of March 14.
That is the third-highest percentage in the country, beaten only by neighbours Norfolk and Waveney and the South West NHS area of Somerset.
It comes as some neighbourhoods are racing ahead with the rollout and have managed to jab more than two-thirds of eligible residents.
Vaccination data is also broken down by neighbourhoods of around 8,200 people, known as MSOAs.
Four postcode areas in our region feature in the national top 15 for the highest percentage of over-16s vaccinated.
They include Holland-on-Sea in Tendring with 71.4%, Frinton West & Kirby at 69.4%, Felixstowe East with 68.4% and Saxmundham & Coldfair Green at 67.2%.
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The two Suffolk neighbourhoods named in the top 15 also managed to vaccinate more than 80% of people aged 55-59.
People aged 50 and over are now able to book their vaccinations, NHS bosses announced on Tuesday.
Some areas are continuing to lag behind with lower percentages of the eligible population vaccinated.
Most are in urban areas, such as Greenstead in Colchester where just over a quarter of over-16s have been jabbed. This is still far higher than in some cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester, where percentages are hardly moving above 20%.
However, gaps are beginning to emerge in some west Suffolk neighbourhoods, such as Ixworth, Honington and Barnham, where 42% of over-16s have had their first jab.
Neighbouring districts of Stanton & Barningham and Fornham, Great Barton & Rougham are heading towards 60% of the eligible population vaccinated.
Needham Market South & Great Blakenham is also slightly behind its neighbours with 42% jabbed, although this is still far higher than large swathes of England.
The rollout is continuing at pace with the PM reassuring people vaccine will still be available for people invited for jabs, despite a downturn in expected supply next month.
It comes as Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, said it had determined that the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine “firmly remain to outweigh the risks”.
Stuart Keeble, Suffolk’s director of public health, said in response: “The outcome of these two rigorous, detailed and independent reviews reinforce the approvals given to the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine at the start of the year.
“They show the vaccine to be safe and effective at protecting people from the effects of Covid-19 and, most importantly, should give people confidence that they can have the vaccine when it is offered to them.
“We’ve come so far in the battle with Covid-19 and the end is at last in sight. But to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, I urge people to continue to get vaccinated.”