Vaccinating England: How’s it going?

How is the Covid vaccination rollout going in different parts of England?

Mark Needham
Nerd For Tech

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In the world of Covid data, Thursday afternoons are my favourite because that’s when NHS England publish their weekly vaccinations spreadsheet.

In this blog post, we’re going to explore the data published in the spreadsheet to learn how the vaccine rollout is going in different parts of the country.

NHS England Covid Vaccination Data Website

The Data Preamble

The spreadsheet contains data on the number of vaccinations given by age group and by region, as well as population estimates for each of these areas.

The data is a few days behind the aggregate data shown on the official dashboard, so we need to keep that in mind when doing our analysis.

The screenshot below shows the data contained in the spreadsheet and in a previous blog post, I showed how to extract different parts of the spreadsheet using Pandas.

NHS England Covid Vaccination Spreadsheet

So what can we learn from digging into the data?

Vaccinations by age group

Let’s start by having a look at the number of people vaccinated per age group. The table below shows the absolute numbers:

Vaccinations by Age Group

Overall just under 47% of people or 28,702,746 people have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and the percentage of people vaccinated is above 90% for all the age groups above 65.

According to the official dashboard, as of today, 29,232,101 in England have had at least one dose of the vaccine, with 266,165 of those being since 2nd May 2021.

Taking that into account still leaves us with a gap of just under 300,000 people, which is partly explained by the following caveats in the spreadsheet:

Only records with a vaccination date between 8th December 2020 to 2nd May 2021 have been included.

The sum of LTLAs will not equal the England total. This is due to a small number of individuals vaccinated in England with a registered address in Scotland or Wales or where their address is unknown.

Our numbers aren’t way off though so I think the data is good enough to continue with our analysis.

One thing that wasn’t obvious to me until I started looking at this data is that although % wise very few under 45s have been vaccinated, in absolute numbers that cohort has had the most vaccines:

Percentage of people vaccinated by age group

We’re currently vaccinating people aged 40, so the number of people under 45 is only going to increase over the coming weeks.

Vaccinations by region

Now let’s have a look at how the vaccine rollout is going by region. The dataset contains the number of vaccines by administrative region and Local Tier Locality Authority (local council).

We’ll start with the overall vaccination rate by administrative region:

Vaccination rates by administrative region

From this map, we can see that London is struggling, whereas the South West, North East, and South West are doing really well.

This map shows the overall vaccination rate across the whole administration region, but we can also analyse the data at the local council level.

There are a lot of councils (314 by my count), so let’s first have a look at how things are doing at the local council level, grouped by region. The box plot below gives us a high-level overview of how things are going.

Box plot of vaccinations in local councils (grouped by region)

This chart shows more starkly how much less vaccinated London is than the rest of the country. The best local council in London is only just at the 25%ile of the councils in the other regions. London also has the least vaccinated local area, although some outliers in the East of England and the South East are doing just slightly better.

Now admittedly London has a large under 45 population, with just over 66% of the population being under this age. Everywhere else has about 55% of their population being under 45.

Under 45 population in different parts of England

But even if we give London the benefit of the doubt here, it’s a similar story if we have a look at the vaccinating rates of older age groups e.g. the over 80s

Vaccination rates by region for the over 80s cohort

For this cohort, London has about 87% of their population vaccinated, whereas the other regions are all over 90%.

Vaccinations by local council

Let’s now zoom in to the Local Tier Local Authorities (local councils) to see what’s going on at a more granular level.

The charts below show the 20 least vaccinated local area, coloured by region:

Least vaccinated areas

Unsurprisingly this is dominated by London boroughs, the bottom 3 all being in East London. I wonder whether it’s more difficult to get to vaccination centres in that part of town or if there’s another reason for the lower vaccination rate beyond the young population.

We can also look at the 20 most vaccinated areas:

Most vaccinated areas

The East Midlands is doing well here with 3 local councils in the top 12. The North West are the winners though, with 6 local councils in the top 20. London, sadly, has no representation. In fact, no London councils feature in the top 200 councils!

We’ll conclude this blog post by looking at some of the best performing areas across all age groups. Below we can see a chart showing the number of people vaccinated by age group for the top 3 local councils:

The most vaccinated local councils

Although East Lindsay is doing best overall, Isles of Scilly are the winners in several of the cohorts.

Let’s hope that we get those numbers close to 100% across all the categories sooner rather than later!

In Summary

I hope it was interesting to see what’s going on vaccine wise at a local level, I certainly find it fascinating.

The code used to generate the charts and tables in this article is available at github.com/mneedham/covid-vaccines

You can also find a Streamlit app that has interactive versions of the charts at share.streamlit.io/mneedham/covid-vaccines/main/app.py

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