'One in eight' have snubbed virus vaccine
One year after all over 18s were offered the chance to get their first jab, data from NHS England shows 207,243 people in Sunderland had received a first dose of the vaccine by June 5 – 86.9% of those in the area.
That means 13.1% remain unvaccinated.
Nationally, the figures show around 93.3% of adults in had received a first jab by June 5, with vaccine rates ranging from between just 63.9% in Westminster to 93.3% in Hambleton, Yorkshire.
Dr Simon Williams, of Swansea University, who has been running a study into people’s attitude towards vaccines, said ethnicity and deprivation are the two biggest factors which can help explain the varying vaccine coverage.
He said: "Vaccines are the tools to continue to reduce the harm that Covid inflicts on people and also reduce future rates of long Covid – the long term impact of which we still don't fully understand.
"We need to better engage with some communities to understand what economic, social and cultural factors might be explaining why uptake is so low."
With 73.4% having received at least one vaccine, those aged 25-29 have the highest refusal rates in Sunderland.
By comparison, the 75-79 age bracket has the highest uptake in the area – 98%.
The Department of Health and Social Care said there are areas of the country with lower uptake, but it will continue to provide advice on how to get a vaccine and its benefits.