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early one in five Londoners aged 80 or over have still not had a coronavirus vaccine, new figures show, raising fresh questions about the capital’s sluggish jab rollout.

According to NHS England data, London continues to lag behind other regions in getting jabs into arms, with a total of 1,652,421 doses administered up to February 16.

That is 237,773 fewer jabs than the North West, which has an adult population of approximately 5.7 million, compared to 7.1 million in London.

In the vulnerable over-80s category, only 81.2 per cent of Londoners had got their first dose by February 14 — the day Boris Johnson announced the Government had hit its target of offering jabs to 15 million people most at-risk. 

This compares to 97.9 per cent of over-80s in South West England. London’s tally is significantly lower than the next-worst performing region, Eastern England, where 93.6 per of over-80s have had a vaccine. The estimate for the whole of England is 93.4 per cent.

The percentage of Londoners aged 75-79 who have had their first dose is 86.1 per cent, according to the figures, compared to 99.3 per cent for the whole England.

There are also encouraging signs that vaccines are starting to drive down death rates nationwide. According to analysis by the Telegraph, the number of over-80s dying with the virus fell by 59.2 per cent between January 22 and February 12.

The Department of Health told the PA news agency that many people will have booked their vaccine appointments for this week or a future date convenient to them and that the statistics in the weeks going forward will provide a clearer picture.

They also said there can be a number of reasons why someone who has been offered a vaccine might not have come forward to get it yet, including if they have Covid-19 at the time.

The spokesman added that uptake so far has been higher than anticipated. More than 16.4 million people in the UK have had their first jab since the rollout began on December 8.

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