Nearly three million young adults in UK yet to receive Covid jab

Nearly three million young adults in the UK have not had a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, new figures show.

A total of 2.9 million 18 to 29-year-olds are estimated to be unjabbed, including nearly 2.5 million in England.

Wales is the only nation to have managed to give a first dose to more than three-quarters of young adults, with an estimated 75.8% having received one jab.

Scotland is next on 73.2%, followed by England on 70.8% and Northern Ireland on 66.3%.

HEALTH Coronavirus VaccineDoses
(PA Graphics)

The figures have been published by the UK’s four health agencies and cover vaccines delivered up to August 18.

A host of initiatives have been launched in recent weeks to encourage take-up among young adults, including renewed appeals from political leaders and pop-up vaccination centres.

In England a number of food delivery and taxi-hailing companies have been enlisted to offer discounted rides and meals for customers who have received a first dose.

The latest estimate of 2.9 million 18 to 29-year-olds who are unvaccinated is only slightly lower than the previous estimate of 3 million one week ago.

Birmingham is the local authority in England with the lowest estimated percentage of 18 to 29-year-olds to have received one jab (47.1%), according to analysis by the PA news agency.

The next lowest is Coventry (47.9%), followed by Nottingham (50.6%), Liverpool (52.1%) and the London borough of Islington (53.4%).

In total there are 60 local authority areas where less than two-thirds of young adults are likely to have received one dose.

These include the big cities of Manchester (54.5%), Leicester (56.1%) and Leeds (58.8%).

Areas with the highest estimated take-up among young adults include South Oxfordshire (99.8%), Woking (99.4%) and Elmbridge (98.6%).

Data for local authority areas covers vaccinations up to August 15.

HEALTH Coronavirus VaccineDoses
(PA Graphics)

Efforts are being stepped up to increase vaccinations among 16 to 17-year-olds, with letters and text messages being sent to everyone in this age group in England.

Professor Sir Keith Willett, head of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in England, said: “Thanks to the dedication and hard work of NHS staff, and the teenagers who have already come forward for their jabs, the NHS has administered more than 125,000 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to 16 and 17-year-olds, protecting themselves, their families, and their friends from the virus.

“The vaccine is safe and effective with nearly nine in 10 adults already taking up the offer, and I would urge anyone eligible, especially those 16 and 17-year-olds heading back into education or training, to get their life-saving jab.”

The figures come as new research suggests the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in England has directly averted between 91,700 and 98,700 deaths.

Previous estimates had put the figures between 81,300 and 87,800 deaths.

The vaccination programme is also believed to have directly averted over 82,100 hospital admissions, up from the previous estimate of over 66,900 admissions, according to Public Health England.