NEARLY 100,000 Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the Black Country and West Birmingham to date, official figures show.

A total of 97,310 vaccinations have taken place since December 8 up until January 17, according to latest figures from NHS England.

The data also breaks down how many people under and over 80 have received first or second doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

A total of 40,774 pensioners over the age of 80 in the Black Country and West Birmingham area have had their first jab and even more under 80s (46,316) have already received a first vaccine.

And 8,315 people over 80 have also now received a second dose of the vaccine, while just 1,905 people under 80 have had a follow up jab to date.

No figures for local authority areas have yet been provided so it is impossible to say how many vaccines have been administered in the Dudley borough to date.

MPs and health bosses, however, have reported that the vaccination programme has been going well and Dudley South MP Mike Wood told the News that in his constituency it was hoped that all people over 80 would have received an invite to have a vaccine by the weekend.

He said some residents in their 70s have already started to receive vaccinations in Dudley South.

Kingswinford South councillor Peter Miller and his wife Hilary, a former Mayor and Mayoress of Dudley, are among those in their 70s to have already received a first dose.

The couple, aged 76 and 74, attended Kingswinford Community Centre yesterday (Wednesday) to have their first vaccine which Cllr Miler said was delivered "very efficiently" in a matter of minutes.

Meanwhile, Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb reported last week that more than half of the care homes in her constituency had received vaccinations or would within days; while Dudley North MP Marco Longhi said it was hoped all care homes in Dudley would have received first doses of the vaccine by the end of this week.

A total of six PCN (primary care network) vaccination sites have been set up in the Dudley borough to offer jabs for patients registered with GP practices.

The centres have been administering hundreds of jabs on days that vaccine clinics have been up and running but it is understood these are not currently operating every day of the week due to vaccine supply issues and the need to schedule in visits to care homes to vaccinate residents and staff.

Mr Wood said supply issues were not unique to Dudley but happening world wide but he said on a positive note: "We've had rather more than most. The Midlands region has vaccinated more people than France."

Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust has also become a hospital hub site to offer the vaccine to patients, care home staff and healthcare staff.

As well as waiting for an invite for an appointment at a PCN or hospital site residents who have not yet had a jab will also be receiving letters from the NHS to inform them of pharmacy-run sites and mass vaccination centres set up to administer the vaccine.

But health bosses have stressed that if people choose not to book an appointment at a pharmacy or mass vaccination site, which may be quite a distance from their home, they will - in turn - be contacted by their GP to attend a PCN site.

The Black Country Living Museum site is expected to be opened as a mass vaccination centre shortly. To date, the closest such site is Millennium Point in Birmingham.

Pharmacy Xpress in Dudley has also just been set up to deliver the vaccine.

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi, who visited Northway Medical Practice recently to see how the rollout was going, said the vaccination programme had "got off to a fantastic start thanks to the hard work of all those involved" and he added: “It’s great to see that so many people in my area have received the vaccine as we lead the world in our fight back against coronavirus. Brexit really has helped save lives as the UK was free to implement our own vaccine programme.

“The success of this rollout out will boost people’s confidence and will certainly be welcomed by businesses who have had such a tough time. This will save people’s lives and will no doubt have a really positive impact on people’s mental health and general wellbeing.

“I look forward to getting my vaccine over the coming months – and I urge everyone to do the same when they get the call up."

The government has pledged that by the end of January, everyone in England (except in remote rural areas) will be within 10 miles of a vaccination site.