Vaccination rates across south east England are varying significantly, the latest Public Health England figures have revealed.

Two boroughs in the region currently boast that over 85% of over 60s have received both vaccine doses, whilst other local areas lag behind with less than 70%.

The latest Covid-19 stats revealed yesterday that infection rates were starting to creep up locally, and whilst case numbers do remain relatively low, the emergence of certain Covid-19 variants has caused fresh concern.

The Indian variant has caused the most worry among experts, and could potentially lead to the Government pausing its plans for June 21, although efforts are ongoing to contain its spread.

Earlier this week it emerged that the Indian mutation has now been identified in every south east London variant.

But with the variant appearing not to be immune to coronavirus vaccines, the Government's stance now appears to be that of a race against time to administer two doses of the vaccine to as many people as possible.

PA Graphics

PA Graphics

Here is a list of the latest estimates of the proportion of people aged 60 and over in England who have received both doses of Covid-19 vaccine, broken down by local authority.

And it was announced earlier this month that the programme had successfully moved on to people aged 34 and over who can now book their Covid-19 jab.

But some areas across the country are much further ahead with their vaccination programmes than others, and London is currently to several of the slowest vaccination efforts in the UK.

New PHE statistics showing the estimates for the proportion of people aged 60 and over who have received both doses of the vaccine show that the City of London has the lowest rate in England, with just 54.5%.

This is followed by Tower Hamlets (55.6%), Westminster (56.9%) and then in south east London, Southwark with 65.2% of over 60s, which is 26,000 people.

Also among some of the lower scores nationally is Lewisham with 29,140 over 60s given both doses, which is 70.4%.

Public Health England have released vaccine rollout figures for local authorities across England - PA

Public Health England have released vaccine rollout figures for local authorities across England - PA

In Croydon, 52,002 people in the age range have had both does, which is 71.3%, and nearby, Dartford boasts an impressive 83.9%.

The rest of south east London is performing higher in the UK rankings, with Bromley boasting the highest vaccination rate in the region.

The borough has given double doses to 65,171 people aged 60 and over, 86.6% of the population.

Bexley is close behind with 85.0%, with 45,705 people in the age range fully vaccinated.

In Greenwich, that number is 32,444 - 77.1%.

The area with the highest rate is Mid Suffolk with 93.2%.

The figures are based on provisional data from NHS England for vaccinations up to May 16 and use population figures from the Office for National Statistics, which are the best publicly available official estimates.

The Government announced on Wednesday that 70% of UK adults have now received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

In total, 57.8 million vaccines had been administered as of May 18, including 20.8 million second doses.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Vaccines are turning the tide against this pandemic and I’m incredibly proud the UK has one of the highest uptake rates in the world, with 90% of people saying that they have had or will have the jab.

"Strong evidence shows the vaccines protect you and your loved ones from serious illness and they also reduce transmission, which is why we’ve introduced additional surge measures in the areas with rising cases of the variant first identified in India."

Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms. Vaccinated people are even more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it. There is growing evidence that vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus to others.