More than a third (34.6%) of people aged 80 and over in England have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccines, according to Public Health England (PHE).
The surveillance data, published today (15 January), shows that just over one million people (1,036,605) in this age group received a first dose vaccination between 8 December and 10 January.
A further 960,699 (1.7%) people under 80 have also had the first dose of the vaccine, including 5.6% of the population aged between 75 and 79, according to PHE.
Almost one in 10 (9.8%) people aged 80 or over have also gone on to receive the second dose, the data shows.
This follows the Government’s policy change on 31 December, asking GP practices to administer the second dose 10-12 weeks after the first, rather than three weeks – as originally planned – to help vaccinate more people sooner.
Vaccine uptake has been highest in the North East and Yorkshire, where 43.8% of people aged 80 or over have received the first dose of Covid vaccine, according to PHE.
Meanwhile, uptake among the over 80s is lowest in the East of England, where 27.9% have received the first dose.
The North East and Yorkshire region has also delivered the most Covid vaccines to the over 80s group (204,140), according to the data.
London has administered the fewest to this group (92,398) – but also has a smaller elderly population compared with elsewhere.
‘High-quality data coming soon’
PHE said it will begin providing more ‘high-quality’ data in the coming weeks, which will include information on under-vaccinated groups, the impact of vaccination on cases, hospitalisations and deaths, the effectiveness of the vaccine and the duration of protection.
It added that this will help the body to determine how well the population is protected and where it should be focusing efforts to increase uptake.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said: ‘To have vaccinated over a third of all over 80s by this point in the programme is a great achievement and I want to pay tribute to all those across the health system who have made this happen.
‘This data will help us to evaluate the protection from the vaccine and to effectively target the rollout of the programme to help control the virus and save lives.’
Matt Hancock, health secretary, recently announced that almost a quarter of older care home residents have received their first dose of the Covid vaccine, while NHS England has asked GPs to achieve full coverage by 24 January ‘at the latest’.