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Three in 10 young adults in England still without first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

Practice nurse Hannah Currie, 25, prepares a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as Bradford Central Mosque is opened as a community COVID-19 vaccination centre. Pic by Peter Byrne

By Ian Jones, PA

Nearly a third of young adults in England have still not had a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, figures show.

Some 68.1% of people aged 18 to 29 had received a first dose by July 25, according to estimates from NHS England, meaning 31.9% are likely to be unjabbed.

This is the equivalent of around 2.7 million adults under 30.

The figures are a small improvement on the previous week, when 33.6% of 18 to 29-year-olds had yet to have a first dose.

But a breakdown of the age group by gender shows vaccine take-up remains lower among men than women.

An estimated 73% of women aged 25 to 29 have had a first dose, compared with 66.3% of men.

Among 18 to 24-year-olds, 70% of women are estimated to have received one dose, and 62.2% of men.

All adults in England have been able to book a first dose since June 18.

The Government has urged young adults to come forward for a first jab, while announcing plans for a Covid vaccine passport that would make full vaccination a requirement for entry to nightclubs and other venues from the end of September.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said young people should think of Covid-19 vaccines as “liberating”.

Speaking to the PA news agency on Wednesday, while visiting a vaccination centre in London, Mr Javid acknowledged “the one area where we need to do more collectively” is to get 18 to 29-year-olds to take up the offer of a jab.

“What I would say to that group of people is please get vaccinated for your own benefit, for your loved ones, but for your wider community,” he said.

“For young people, they should think of vaccines as being liberating. Everyone wants to see a return to normal. We’re on that journey to normal and we’re doing it because of the vaccines.

“But for young people who want to travel, it really helps you to get vaccinated, and that’s the way things are heading.”

Slow take-up among young adults continues to have an impact on the overall rate of vaccination in England.

As of July 28, 39.2 million first doses had been delivered in England – the equivalent of 88.2% of the adult population.

This is up 0.5 percentage points from 87.7% a week earlier.

It compares with week-on-week growth of 0.7 percentage points on July 21, one point on July 14 and 1.4 points on June 7.

There are nine local authority areas in England where less than half of 18 to 24-year-olds are estimated to have received a first dose of vaccine, according to analysis by PA.

These are Islington in London (41.9%), Birmingham (41.9%), Liverpool (48.4%), Lewisham in London (48.5%), Waltham Forest in London (48.8%), Barking & Dagenham in London (49.2%), Welwyn Hatfield (49.5%), Coventry (49.8%) and Manchester (49.8%).

There are 18 local authority areas where at least 90% of 18 to 24-year-olds have received a first dose, including three where the number of doses is greater than the estimated population size for the age group: Hart in Hampshire, Richmondshire and Rutland.

In four areas, less than half of 25 to 29-year-olds are estimated have received a first dose: Coventry (42.7%), Nottingham (47.0%), Birmingham (47.4%) and Barking & Dagenham (49.7%).

There are 25 areas where at least 90% of 25 to 29-year-olds have had their first jab, including three where the number of doses given is greater than the estimated population size: Cambridge, the Isles of Scilly and Woking.

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