Sadiq Khan has said London will “always lag behind” the rest of the UK on vaccines take-up as the capital continues to trail all other English regions.
The mayor of London today said London’s older and more transient population made vaccinating the capital more difficult, but defended the rollout as more advanced than in Paris or New York.
Figures from this week show 67 per cent of Londoners have received one dose of the Covid vaccine, while 60 per cent have received both doses.
This is well behind all other English regions, with the South West and North East leading the way on vaccine take-up.
London’s vaccine numbers have consistently been lower than the rest of the country, with Khan blaming the city’s demographics for the lag.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “London will always lag behind the rest of the country for three main reasons – our population is more mobile, more diverse, more transient.
“Fewer of our Londoners are registered with a GP, but the good news is, compare London with Paris, New York and Los Angeles – we’re miles ahead.”
London has proportionately fewer over-60s than other parts of the country, meaning that many in the capital were not eligible for the jab until later in the roll out.
Take-up of the vaccines was also much slower nationally among under-30s initially, however it has since recovered.
The capital is also far more racially diverse than other areas of the country and figures have shown some ethnic minorities display greater vaccines hesitancy.
All this could be problematic if Covid case rates surge during winter and much of London’s population is not protected from the virus.
Khan said that he is “not envisaging” London being locked down over the winter.
“I’m really keen to support our hospitaliyu, our cultural, our nighttime industries,” he said.
“The good news is…the numbers in London are pretty stable, the transmission rate is stable, the case rate is stable, the number of people with Covid in hospitals is far less than it was before Christmas, but we must be vigilant.”