Responding to the ONS figures showing coronavirus vaccination rates in people aged 70 years and over by socio-demographic characteristic, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said:
“These figures show us how much progress the vaccination programme has made in just four months, with more than 90 per cent of those aged over 70 having already received a first dose. That’s thanks to the huge efforts of our members locally, who have done so much to reach their communities alongside their other healthcare responsibilities. With 30 million first doses now given and 3.5 million second doses, the NHS has made incredible headway.
“However, the figures also demonstrate there is still more work to do to make sure, first and foremost, that access to vaccination is equitable, and secondly, to overcome vaccine hesitancy, as marginalisation clearly plays a major part in pushing uptake down.
“The vaccination programme is among the strongest tools at our disposal in the fight against COVID-19, and offers a clear way past the pandemic. It is therefore vital that there are as few barriers as possible, so that the communities who have been so disproportionately affected by the disease are properly supported to receive their jabs.
"NHS organisations are actively working to improve vaccine confidence, and those efforts will continue. Until everyone is protected, no one is protected.”