Three in 10 young adults in England still unjabbed, figures show
By Ian Jones, PA
Three in 10 young adults in England have still not had a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, despite various initiatives to improve take-up, new figures show.
Some 70.0% of people aged 18 to 29 had received a first dose of vaccine up to August 11, according to estimates from NHS England, suggesting 30.0% are unjabbed.
This is only a small improvement on the previous week’s figure of 30.9%.
By contrast, take-up for first doses among 30-39 year-olds in England now stands at 81.2%, while for 40-49 year-olds it is 89.1%.
All other age groups are over 90%.
The figures come after the UK Government has repeatedly urged young adults to come for a first jab, with special “pop-up” vaccine centres opened across the country and a number of food delivery and taxi-hailing companies enlisted to offer discounted rides and meals for customers who have received a first dose.
Uber, Bolt and Deliveroo are among the brands that have agreed to offer incentives to encourage younger people to get vaccinated.
The vaccine rollout in England is now estimated to have prevented between 22.9 and 23.8 million infections and between 81,300 and 87,800 deaths, according to the latest research from Public Health England (PHE).
Dr Mary Ramsay, PHE head of immunisations, said: “As cases have increased, the true scale of protection from the vaccine programme has become clear. Everyone that has come forward for their vaccine has played a part in this vital effort.
“It’s important that people under 30 years of age continue to take up the offer of the vaccine. Infection rates are highest in this age group and Covid-19 can be serious for some.”
A breakdown of the 18-29-year-old age group by gender for vaccinations up to August 8 shows take-up continues to be lower among men than women.
An estimated 74.7% of women aged 25 to 29 have had a first dose, compared with 68.2% of men.
Among 18 to 24-year-olds, 72.3% of women are estimated to have received one dose, but only 65.1% of men.
All adults in England have been able to book a first dose of vaccine since June 17.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, PHE medical director, said: “I’d like to congratulate all those who have received their A-level and GCSE results this week. It’s been a challenging year and the steps that all students and staff have taken have been instrumental in keeping the spread of the virus in schools at bay.
“I encourage you all to take up the offer of the vaccine when you are called, so you can take your next steps in life safely.”
Figures from the UK’s health agencies for vaccinations up to August 11 show that Wales continues to lead the way in first doses for young adults, with an estimated 75.4% of 18-29-year-olds having now received one jab.
Scotland is next on 73.5%, followed by England (70.0%) and Northern Ireland (64.9%).
In total, an estimated three million UK adults under 30 have still not received any Covid-19 vaccine.
Responding to the latest figures for first doses in England, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It’s fantastic that seven in 10 young people in England have now received their first dose. The vaccines are already making a big difference for this age group and are building a wall of defence against Covid-19 which is allowing us to safely live with this virus.
“Vaccines can prevent you from catching the virus or passing it on to your friends and family, and reduce the severity of the symptoms if you do catch it.
“Having both doses of the vaccine will also help you get back to doing the things you love, such as going on holiday and enjoying nightclubs. Please come forward for your jabs if you haven’t already.”