Euros could be to blame for drop in vaccine uptake, health bosses say

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing COVID vaccinations at the new mass vaccination centre at Connaught Hal

The number of Covid jabs being administered in Norfolk and Waveney hit a new low last week - Credit: Danielle Booden

Health bosses have said Euro 2020 may be partially to blame for a drop in vaccine uptake - as new figures reveal a new weekly low for Norfolk and Waveney. 

Latest figures published on Thursday show 36,782 vaccines were administered in the seven days up to June 20. 

That is the lowest total for the area since NHS England began releasing weekly statistics in January. 

It compares to 42,723 last week and a high of 71,397 in the week ending January 24. 

While the number of initial jabs administered rose by almost 5,000 on last week, around 11,000 fewer people receive follow-up doses.

Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership does, however, remain in fourth place out of 42 English health systems when it comes to second dose vaccination rate (65.8pc) - suggesting a similar decline across the country. 

A spokesman for Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group - which has been leading the local rollout - said warmer weather, the easing of lockdown restrictions and Euro 2020 "may all be contributing factors in people not booking or attending appointments."

Previous drop-offs have been put down to reduced supply, often a result of deliveries failing to arrive as scheduled. 

England v Czech Republic at the Coach and Horses in Norwich.
Byline: Sonya Duncan

Norfolk and Waveney CCG said Euro 2020 may have contributed to less people going for second Covid jabs - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Many of those going for initial shots are patients aged 18 to 29, the vaccination programme's youngest and final cohort.

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With under-30s now invited to book appointments, there had been concerns over a potentially low uptake due to the lesser risk of serious illness from Covid-19. 

But young people in Norfolk and Waveney appear to be answering the call.

In all, 66,211 people in the 18 to 29 group have been for at least one vaccine so far (42.3pc), the 10th-highest proportion out of 42 health systems in England. 

That is above the national average of 38.8pc. The highest is 50.5pc in Derbyshire.

Almost one in five under-30s (19.3pc) in Norfolk are fully vaccinated, the second-best rate in the country and ahead of the 16pc national average. 

Rachel Pooley gets her first Covid-19 vaccination at the Corn Exchange in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian

A Covid jab being administered at King's Lynn Corn Exchange - Credit: Ian Burt

Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership is still in the top five when it comes to its first dose vaccination rate for all ages (84pc), but has slipped from second to fifth. 

North Norfolk has the fifth-best rate for administering both doses (68.8pc). 

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