As preparations continue to support the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in Bridgend County Borough, the Leader, Cllr Huw David has welcomed news that a second vaccine has been approved for use.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, which was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency earlier this week, will join one developed by Pfizer BioNTech to help prevent people from developing severe symptoms of the coronavirus.
Across Wales, people have been grouped within nine priority groups. The first to receive the vaccine will be care home residents and staff, of which there are approximately 40,250.
These will be followed by people aged 80 and over, and frontline health and social care workers (around 326,000 people).
The next priority groups will be people aged 75 and over (126,800), those who are 75+ or clinically vulnerable and aged between 16-69 (247,300), and people who are 65 and over (167,150).
Adults aged 16-64 classed within an at-risk group will be next (321,400), then people who are aged 60+ (125,900), 55+ (150,600) and 50 or more (162,850).
The last group to be vaccinated will be people aged 16-49, of which there are almost 1.1 million.
The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “News that Wales will benefit from a second vaccine is most welcome, but as the numbers demonstrate, it is going to take quite some time before all of the priority groups have been covered.
“There are several key messages that we must all note and abide by. The first is that people will be contacted directly when it is their turn to receive the vaccination, and will be provided with full details on how it is being organised.
“Please do not contact your GP, pharmacy or hospital to enquire when you will be receiving it as this will only tie up resources and slow the process down.
“When the time comes, you will be invited to attend one of several dedicated local clinics which are being set up to ensure the safety of both you and the healthcare professionals staffing the facilities.
“Attendance will be by appointment only, and more details on where the clinics are located will be published soon.
“However, it would be a grave mistake to think that the vaccine is going to act as a cure-all, and that the rules will not apply once you have received your dose.
“Experts believe that it is going to take some time before we start to see the benefit of the vaccine on a national scale, and it is important to note that it is designed to protect people from developing the most severe symptoms of Covid-19 rather than preventing you from contracting the virus.
“We will still need to abide by the rules around social distancing, hand hygiene and mask wearing for some time yet in order to protect our friends, neighbours, colleagues and families.”
Speaking about the announcement of a second vaccine, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “We understand there are high expectations and excitement at the arrival of a second vaccine. However, it will take time to reach everyone as this is not an instant fix.
“We won’t receive all the doses at once, and we have to be realistic about the scale and pace of delivery when we are vaccinating the entire adult population. We will not see the impact of the vaccine for some months, and the pressure on the NHS will continue during this winter. It is essential that we all continue to play our part, and do the right thing to protect each other.
“Nobody will be left behind by our NHS. To help the NHS to help you, please wait to be invited for your vaccination.”
- Residents will be contacted directly once it is their turn to receive the vaccine – look out for more details soon.