Nine out of 10 of the local authority areas with the lowest vaccination rates for staff of homes of the elderly are London boroughs, according to official data.
The borough with the lowest rate is Lambeth where just 45 per cent have taken up the offer of the vaccine.
London’s rate is just 64 per cent, the lowest of any region. That compares with 74 per cent in the East of England, 78 per cent in the Midlands, 79 per cent in the North East and Yorkshire, 76 per cent in the North West, 77 per cent in the South East and 80.4 per cent in the South West.
In the lowest figures for London boroughs, after Lambeth comes Wandsworth, at 55.8 per cent, Luton (58 per cent), Camden (58.6 per cent), Hackney (59.1 per cent), Redbridge (59.2 per cent), Southwark (60.4 per cent), Enfield (61.2 per cent), Havering (61.8 per cent), Barnet (62 per cent) and Greenwich (62.2 per cent).
Seventeen out of 20 local authorities with the lowest rates are all in London.
London last week celebrated reaching three million vaccinations. However, an analysis of official data by the Standard has revealed that the capital’s vaccination rates are the lowest on a whole range of metrics.
Last Monday, the day after the Government announced that half of the national adult population had been vaccinated, the London figure was just 40.1 per cent, which is a fifth lower.
In key age groups, London is behind every other English region. Only 84 per cent of over-80s in London have had the jab, compared with 94.4 per cent on average for England, rising to 97.7 per cent in the South West. For people aged 75 to 79, every other region boasts 99 to 100 per cent success, but London shows just 90 per cent.
The NHS and Public Health England have been invited to respond to the findings.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said every care home worker had been offered the jab. He said: “Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic. Our vaccination programme is the biggest in NHS history, and so far our heroic health and care staff have administered more than 33 million vaccines.
“We have visited every eligible care home in England, offered vaccines to all staff, and continue to work closely with the care sector and local leaders, particularly in areas of lower take up such as London, to maximise vaccination numbers and save thousands of lives.
“Our priority is making sure people in care homes are protected and we are considering a range of measures including Covid status certification. No final decisions have been made.”
The power of vaccinations to save elderly people was confirmed in new research showing infections among care home residents fell by 62 per cent five weeks after their first dose.
Residents may also be less likely to transmit the virus, said the Vivaldi study led by University College London. It examined data on 10,412 elderly people from 310 care homes between December and mid-March.
Laura Shallcross, from UCL’s Institute of Health Informatics, said: “Our findings show that a single dose has a protective effect that persists from four weeks to at least seven weeks after vaccination.
“Vaccination reduces the total number of people who get infected and analysis of lab samples suggests that care home residents who are infected after having the vaccine may also be less likely to transmit the virus.”
Further research is needed to examine how effective a first dose is after eight to 12 weeks.
Chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty said: “These data add to the growing evidence that vaccines are reducing Covid-19 infections and doing so in vulnerable and older populations, where it is most important that we provide as much protection from Covid as possible.”
Minister for Care Helen Whately said: “This virus sadly has the most serious and profound effect on older people living in care homes and making sure they are protected has been our priority for the last year.
“It is brilliant to see this is having the positive effect the science suggested, not only by preventing death, but also reducing the chance of infection.
“This is particularly important in keeping those most at risk from the virus safe.”