Welsh Government sets out Covid-19 vaccination strategy

Welsh Government has published its Covid-19 vaccination strategy which sets out plans for all eligible adults to be offered a vaccine by the autumn.

It comes as more than 86,000 people have received the vaccine in Wales so far. Daily vaccination figures will be published for Wales from now on.

The three milestones set out in the plan are:

  • By mid-February – all care home residents and staff; frontline health and social care staff; everyone over 70 and everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable will have been offered vaccination.
  • By the spring – vaccination will have been offered to all the other phase one priority groups. This is everyone over 50 and everyone who is at risk because they have an underlying health condition.
  • By the autumn – vaccination will have been offered to all other eligible adults in Wales, in line with any guidance issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

In total, about 2.5m people throughout Wales could be offered coronavirus vaccines by September. This depends on sufficient and regular supplies of the vaccines being delivered. It will be kept under review in line with supply of the vaccine and any further advice from the JCVI.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “The Covid vaccines offer our best hope of a return to the normality we are looking forward to after such a difficult year, which has turned all our lives upside down.

“Delivering this vaccination programme to the people in Wales is a huge task but an enormous amount of work is going on to make it a success. We are making good progress with thousands more people being vaccinated every day.

“Over the coming week we will see the programme pick up further speed with more clinics opening and the first vaccines to be given by pharmacists.”

The number of mass vaccination centres in Wales is increasing to 35 over the coming weeks, with at least one in each county, and 100 GP practices will be providing clinics by the end of this week.

There are also 14 mobile units, run by community nurses, which are taking the vaccine to care homes and the first pharmacies to provide the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will start giving out doses in the next week.

Dr Gillian Richardson, who leads the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Wales, said: “This is the biggest vaccination programme Wales has ever seen and the NHS is working incredibly hard to get the vaccine to as many people as possible, safely and as quickly as we can.

“People will be invited to come and have a vaccination at a clinic close to their home or at one of the mass vaccination centres. I know everyone is really keen to get their jab but please wait until you are contacted for your turn.”

Bridgend Council Leader, Cllr Huw David stressed the importance for Welsh residents to continue taking precautions, as well as being alert to potential scams surrounding COVID-19.  Huw said:

“The vaccines give us hope for the end of this pandemic but it will take some time to protect everyone who needs it. Please continue taking steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from coronavirus.

“Stay alert for scams – the NHS will never ask anyone to pay for a vaccine and will never ask for your bank details.

“Everyone will be contacted directly by the NHS – either by phone or by letter – advising you about where you will have your vaccine. Please wait to be invited and don’t phone your GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy to ask when you will have it.”

Data for the number of vaccines given will be available every weekday from now on at Public Health Wales’ Rapid Covid-19 Surveillance dashboard.

The daily release accounts for the total number of vaccines given until 10pm the previous day, which have been recorded on the Covid-19 Welsh Immunisation System. Actual figures will be higher due to ongoing data entry.

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