Just half of care staff vaccinated in south London borough

Only half of staff at care homes for older adults have been vaccinated in a London borough where surge testing is taking place to try to curb the spread of a coronavirus variant.

Just 50.1% of staff in Lambeth, south London, have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to NHS England.

This is the lowest uptake among all local authorities across England.

In the neighbouring borough of Wandsworth, where surge testing is also taking place, 63.3% have had a first jab.

Covid surge testing in South London - PA

Covid surge testing in South London – PA

Efforts are under way to limit the spread of the South African coronavirus variant after a cluster of cases was discovered in south London.

A total of 600 cases of the South African variant have been detected so far in the UK, an increase of 56 in a week.

More than half a million adults living in south London boroughs are being offered tests, including 264,000 in Lambeth, 265,000 in Wandsworth, and 14,800 in the Rotherhithe ward of Southwark.

The variant has been linked to one care home outbreak in Lambeth.

Covid surge testing in South London - PA

Covid surge testing in South London – PA

Cases were identified in a number of residents and staff members between March 11 and 30.

Some residents are still isolating, and it is understood there are no longer any positive cases at the home.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) says 80% of care home staff and 90% of residents need to be vaccinated to provide a minimum level of protection against Covid-19 outbreaks.

Figures published on Thursday show that 86 out of 149 local authorities have not reached this threshold for employees.

In 22 areas, fewer than 70% of staff have had a first jab.

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