People taking up the shingles vaccinations varies by nearly 20% across regions, according to figures released by PHE.
The figures show that between September 2014 and February 2015, the rate of coverage varied, with the London area having a coverage rate of 38.7%, the lowest of England's regions for the initial 70-year-old age group. In contrast, East Anglia, the most covered area, had a coverage rate of 57.1%.
In the other age groups, the 78-year-old and 79-year-old 'catch-up' cohorts, the lowest coverage rates were also in London, with 43.1% and 39.6% respectively. The area with the highest coverage rates for the catch up cohorts was Cheshire, Warrington and the Wirral, with 57.1% for the 79-year-olds and 53.4% for the 70-year-olds.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said: 'In most areas, the shingles programme is delivered alongside the seasonal flu vaccination programme so geographical variation in shingles coverage may be influenced by local variation in delivery and coverage achieved for the flu programme.'
'The proportion of GP practices participating in the survey varies by CCG and so where less than 100% of practices are represented coverage estimates may not reflect true coverage for the CCG at end of February 2015.
'The 2014/15 shingles immunisation programme continues right up until the
31 August and so areas have plenty of time to continue to offer patients the vaccine and ensure that they achieve high coverage,' added Dr Ramsay. IN