Thousands of people receive Covid-19 vaccine

Thousands of Covid-19 vaccinations have been given out to priority groups across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board area.

As of the start of the new year, more than 6,600 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine had been administered, including just over 1,940 to residents in Bridgend county borough.

The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was approved at the beginning of December.

Meanwhile, the second coronavirus vaccine – formerly known as Oxford AstraZeneca – is being rolled out this week, with Bridgend county borough residents among some of the first in Wales to receive it.

Vaccinations have been taking place at GP practices in the region, with Oak Tree Surgery in Brackla being one of the first in the country to start vaccinating patients aged over 80. Other surgeries will begin giving out doses within the next two weeks.

A vaccination centre has also been set up at Ravens Court in Bridgend for frontline health and social care staff only.

People are asked not to phone their GP, pharmacy or hospital to see when they will get a vaccine. When someone is eligible, they will be invited to attend a clinic.

Across Wales, people have been grouped within nine priority groups. The first to receive the vaccine are care home residents and staff, followed by people aged 80 and over, and frontline health and social care workers.

Last week, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency authorised the AstraZeneca vaccine as safe and effective following stringent clinical trials.

It is easier to use in care homes and GP surgeries as it is stored at normal vaccine fridge temperatures. Two doses will be needed, with an interval of between four and 12 weeks between them.

The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “The pace of the vaccination programme is governed by supply, which will start slowly this week but build vastly in the coming weeks and months.

“When residents are in one of the eligible groups for the vaccine, they will be invited to a dedicated clinic. You will be contacted when it’s your turn – please do not contact your GP, hospital or local pharmacy.

“Residents can choose whether to have the vaccine or not and they will receive information to help them make up their mind if they have any concerns. Correspondence will come from the local health board and the vaccine is free of charge through the NHS. Please be alert to scams asking for money or personal information.

“For now, we must all continue to follow advice on social distancing, hand washing and keeping contacts to a minimum as the impact of the vaccines might not be seen for many months.”

For more information about the coronavirus vaccines, visit the Public Health Wales webpage.