This is why over-50s vaccination rates in Scalby, North Yorkshire, are twice as high as for Harehills in Leeds as Yorkshire sees "huge" variations

There is "huge" variation in the numbers of people getting a coronavirus vaccination across Yorkshire, NHS figures have revealed, with leafy suburbs and rural areas having much higher rates than the region's city centres.

While only 46 per cent of over-50s in Harehills in inner-city Leeds have had at least one dose of the vaccination, the rate in Newby and Scalby just outside Scarborough is 94 per cent, analysis by University of Sheffield academic Colin Angus reveals.

Of the four areas in Yorkshire with the lowest rates among over-50s, four are in Leeds while one is in Burngreave and Grimesthorpe in Sheffield. And four of the five areas with the region's highest rates are in North Yorkshire, with one in Garforth East in Leeds.

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A stock image of Harehills in Leeds. The areas with the lowest rates of over-50s vaccinated are all In Leeds, with Harehills South at 46.1 per cent.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said today that the Government has absolute confidence in UK vaccine supplies, with all adults on track to receive a first dose by the end of July.

He insisted the UK's vaccine programme will continue to be "world-leading", despite a row with Europe over vaccine exports.

But NHS data broken down by so-called Middle Super Output Areas shows what Mr Angus describes as "huge" variation between different areas in terms of the proportion of the population who have had a jab.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, this means that while the big city centres such as Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds and Hull generally have the lowest rates, "the leafy suburbs and rural areas have higher rates".

Scalby Bridge in North Yorkshire. While only 46 per cent of over-50s in Harehills in inner-city Leeds have had at least one dose of the vaccination, the rate in Newby and Scalby just outside Scarborough is 94 per cent. Pic by Richard Ponter

Mr Angus, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, told The Yorkshire Post: "Part of this is to do with age, but if we restrict ourselves to just looking at people aged 70+, all of whom should have been invited to be vaccinated several weeks ago at least, we still see the same pattern.

"We know that a key factor is ethnicity, with minority ethnic groups being generally less likely to take up the offer of a vaccine. Another factor is deprivation - people in the poorest areas may lack the means to get to a vaccination site, or may not be able to take time off to get vaccinated."

He added: "This is obviously a particular concern, because these same groups are the people most at risk from Covid. They are more likely to work in a public-facing job, be in poorer health, and less likely to be able to afford to isolate or even get tested.

"If we want to minimise the chances of another wave of Covid, trying to increase vaccine uptake rates in these deprived areas is key, and something that I have no doubt the excellent local Public Health teams we have here in Yorkshire are working hard on."

The proportion of people aged over 50 in Yorkshire who have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Plot by @VictimofMaths - Colin Angus from the University of Sheffield

The areas with the lowest rates of over-50s vaccinated are all In Leeds, with Harehills South at 46.1 per cent, Cross Flatts Park and Garnets at 49.8 per cent, Harehills North at 53.5 per cent and Leeds city centre at 55.1 per cent. Burngreave & Grimesthorpe in Sheffield has a rate of 55.3 per cent.

The highest rates in Yorkshire are Newby & Scalby, Scarborough (93.7 per cent), Easingwold and Stillington in Hambleton (93.6 per cent), Garforth East in Leeds (93.5 per cent), Tadcaster (93.2 per cent) and Kirbymoorside and Moors in Ryedale (92.9 per cent).

Sam Prince, Senior Responsible Officer for the vaccination programme in Leeds said: "We've are working hard to increase uptake across all communities in Leeds where there have been lower numbers of people taking up the offer of a vaccine.

"This includes Harehills, where we've had a very positive response to the pop-up clinics we've been running in local community venues.

"These have been supported by community leaders, who have worked with us and Leeds Council to help provide information about the vaccine and give people chance to discuss any concerns they have.

"Giving people the chance to discuss any concerns they might have about the vaccine is a key part of our approach, along with providing services in different ways to meet the needs of our local communities, and we will continue to look at how we can best achieve this and encourage as many people as possible to have the vaccine."

Overall Yorkshire and the Humber is around average when compared to other regions in terms of the number of people vaccinated in both the over-50 and over-70 categories.

Mr Angus said this suggests that differences in delivery rates across most of the country are down to the different age structures and other specific local factors such as deprivation and ethnicity rather than differential vaccine supply levels.

He said: "I remember seeing a few stories about some areas missing out on vaccine supplies earlier in the vaccine rollout, but there's nothing here to suggest that is still an issue."

Meanwhile, new research suggests the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine generates a robust immune response in 99 per cent of people after one dose.

One dose of the vaccine protects against severe disease and after two jabs, levels of protection are even stronger - underlining the importance of people coming forward for their second shot.

The findings support the UK policy of rapid rollout of one dose of vaccine to provide cover as quickly as possible for the higher-risk groups, researchers say.