Covid-19 vaccine take-up among children 'practically zero' in Barking and Dagenham

A nurse prepares a coronavirus vaccine

In Barking and Dagenham, 70 per cent of the population have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine compared to an England average of 89.5pc. - Credit: PA

The take-up of Covid-19 vaccinations among 12- to 15-year-olds in Barking and Dagenham is "very concerning".

That is according to Cllr Maureen Worby, who is the town hall's cabinet chief for social care and health integration.

Cllr Worby, speaking at a meeting at Barking Town Hall on Wednesday (September 29), said: "The take-up for 12- to 15-year-olds is very, very concerning. It's practically zero. Zero consents are coming in.

"People need to understand [the vaccine is] not a danger to children, but the amount of harm we continue to do to our vulnerable because children are continuing to pass on that infection can't be overstated."

She appealed to the borough to remember the need to protect themselves and the vulnerable.

The NHS is giving first doses to young people aged 12 to 17. Parents should receive a letter or email asking for consent and offering a date.

Overall in Barking and Dagenham, the Covid-19 case rate was 164.4 per 100,000 people as of September 28, below the London average of 202.5.

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However, the case rate in those aged 60 and over has increased by 42 per cent to 121.3 per 100,000.

This is the third-highest in the capital, with 34 residents in the age group testing positive for the virus in the week until September 28, according to the council.

A total of 70pc of people in the borough have received their first dose of the vaccine compared to an England average of 89.5pc and London average of 67pc.

Abbey ward has the largest population of NHS-registered patients but the lowest first dose vaccination rate - 54pc.

Second dose vaccination uptake has been slowing with an average of 185 jabs given per day, down from 249 the previous week, according to the council.

A total of 56.2pc of residents have had a second dose. In schools, 87 staff and 330 pupils have tested positive since the start of the autumn term.

The number of staff self-isolating has dropped from 215 to 199, according to the local authority.

Sadly, in total, there have been 560 deaths in Barking and Dagenham due to Covid-19.

Maureen Worby. Picture: LBBD

Maureen Worby. Picture: LBBD - Credit: Archant

"We have to stick to those measures that keep us all safe," Cllr Worby said. 

She also urged people to get flu jabs ahead of winter, warning immunity will have reduced among the population due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

This comes as almost 30 new Covid vaccination sites are opening across east London.