Revealed: London has lowest uptake for teenage Covid vaccines in country

London is falling behind the pack in vaccinating under 18s, the latest figures suggest.

London has the lowest take-up of Covid vaccination among teenagers in England, figures have revealed.

The capital is well below the national average, and 16 of the bottom 20 local authorities across the country for under 18 vaccinations are in London.

During the summer the Government announced that 16 and 17-year-olds would be vaccinated against Covid-19 - and teens in this age bracket have been able to get their jabs since the start of August.

Now 12 to 15-year-olds have been offered one Pfizer vaccine from September 20, to try and stem any spike in cases with schools going back.

However numbers in London are still trailing behind the rest of the country.

Data for teenagers aged 12 to 17 alone, the ages having the vaccine, has not yet been compiled.

Across London as a whole, 5.8% of the under 18 population was vaccinated by October 3, the latest figures.

That’s 136,247 teenagers in the capital having at least one dose.

Among the 307 local authorities covered by the statistics, the national average is 8.4%.

The London rate is 30% lower.

Figures from the NHS show that London boroughs - including Hackney and City of London - have recorded the lowest vaccination coverage for teens, relative to population size.

Among the 65,971-strong under 18 population in the two boroughs, 2,264 had been given their first Covid jab.

This adds up to just 3.4%, the lowest in England.

Barking and Dagenham, Walham Forest and Newham all had an uptake of just 4% or lower.

While Kensington and Chelsea, Haringey, Southwark, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Tower Hamlets, Islington and Lewisham all had take up of 5% or lower of under 18s.

The Amber Valley, in Derbyshire, has the highest take up amongst teens - with 14% of under 18s having the jab.

See how your area compares with our interactive map.


‘No one is left behind’

Martin Michaelis, professor of molecular medicine from the University of Kent, said: “When we compare London to other parts of the country, various reasons may contribute to the observed differences in vaccine uptake.

“The proportion of individuals from minority backgrounds is higher in London, and members of such communities are known to be more hesitant when it comes to vaccinations.

“Moreover, people in London are more mobile than people in other areas.

“This means that you have more people in London, who are still registered with a GP practice in an area, in which they do not live anymore.

“Hence, the number of people registered with GP practices in London is likely to be somewhat inflated, which makes the vaccination rates look lower than they actually are.”

A spokesperson for NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We have already vaccinated 20,000 under-18s against coronavirus and offered jabs to everyone aged 16 and over, and we are making first doses available to all 12- to 15-year-olds in line with JCVI guidance.

“Working closely with our local partners, we will continue to reach out to encourage under-18s to come forward for one of the safe, effective vaccines – through conversations with a GP, by increasing access to jabs at community venues and events, and by providing opportunities for young people and their parents and guardians to have their questions answered, so no one is left behind.”

Efforts to entice London teenagers into getting the jab recently involved an event in Stratford on 2 October with TikTok.

Scientists originally wanted children aged 16 and 17 to be offered the vaccine before the summer holidays finished on Monday, August 23.

This was so children could be protected against the virus in time before returning to the classroom.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that this age group should be inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.