Provides updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme up to 22 March 2022.
Our COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy for Wales was published on 11 January 2021 and together with the below updates, sets out the detail of the Vaccination Programme in Wales.
What’s new since the last update?
Vaccination offer for children 5-11 years old
Following on from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommendations to further expand the COVID-19 vaccination programme, all 5-11 year olds will be offered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
We are encouraging parents and children to access up-to-date and factual information from trusted sources. Public Health Wales have published information on their website to support this and the Chief Medical Officer has shared a letter for parents and guardians through schools: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/covid-19-vaccination-information/resources-for-health-and-social-care-professionals/covid-19-guide-5-17-text-only-version-1-english/
In most cases, children will receive an appointment from their local Health Board and details will be available and updated regularly on your local health board’s website and social media. Links to every health board’s vaccination web pages are available here, check for local information: https://gov.wales/get-your-covid-19-vaccination
There is no need to contact your GP to ask about vaccination appointments as delivery of the vaccine will be primarily administered through vaccination centres, and children will need to be accompanied by a parent/guardian. There is no age priority within the JCVI advice, which makes it easier for eligible siblings to be vaccinated at the same time.
On 21 February 2022, the JCVI published a statement, recommending an additional spring booster dose for our most vulnerable individuals.
People aged 75 and over, older care home residents and people over 12 years old who are immunosuppressed are being invited for their second booster. It is advised that the spring booster is taken around six months after the last vaccine dose to maintain high levels of immunity in those deemed most vulnerable to coronavirus. When it is time for you to receive your spring booster dose, you will be contacted by your local health board. Please do not contact them unless you need to change your appointment.
Nobody left behind
Anyone who wants to take up the offer of a first, second or booster vaccine can still do so. If you couldn’t make your original appointment, you can do it now. Walk-in sessions are available across Wales for first, second and booster appointments. Get your COVID-19 vaccination
Vaccines offer a good level of protection and it’s worth having if you’ve had COVID already. This is because the level of protection people get from having the virus may vary depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection, and their age. But we know protection from vaccination is good, especially the booster.
Vaccination teams can answer any questions you may have about vaccination and support you to get vaccinated. Most vaccination centres have quiet areas for people to sit whilst waiting and many also have specialist nurses in attendance, to assist those who may need some extra support.
COVID-19 vaccination status
From 18 February 2022, you don’t have to show the NHS COVID pass to go to indoor and outdoor events, and venues like cinemas, theatres and nightclubs. But you will still need COVID pass for travelling abroad.
The COVID Pass confirms your vaccination status or that you have had a negative lateral flow test result within the past 24 hours. If you are registered with a GP in the UK, were vaccinated in Wales or England and are aged 16 or over, you can get a digital NHS COVID Pass.
To access the COVID Pass using a smart phone, a computer or laptop use the following link https://covid-status.service.nhsx.nhs.uk/
Further information and guidance will be made available by the Welsh Government in the near future. View the current guidance on accessing the COVID Pass.
Following discussions with clinical and ethical advisors, we have agreed the following definition for people who are considered to be medically exempt from having COVID vaccinations and from taking a lateral flow test for the purpose of using a domestic COVID Pass.
People will be considered medically exempt if they:
- Have had a previous systemic anaphylaxis reaction to a COVID vaccine and are not able to receive an alternative vaccine through the national allergy pathway and referral service.
- Have had a prior anaphylactic reaction to any component (excipient) of the COVID vaccine and are not able to receive an alternative vaccine through the national allergy pathway and referral service.
- Have had a severe adverse event associated with a COVID vaccine resulting in hospitalisation where no alternative vaccine is available, as assessed by the national referral service.
- Are registered as having a severe learning disability or severe autism and have been assessed by a health board learning and disability service as unable to receive a vaccine after reasonable adjustments and for whom best interest statements have been made in conjunction with the individual, their family or carers and the learning and disability service.
- Are medically unable to take a lateral flow test (LFT). This could include people who have severe nose and throat abnormalities; severe learning disabilities with challenging behaviours, or an allergy to lateral flow test swab materials. This will need to be verified by a clinician.
People in the first three categories will automatically be contacted by the NHS and will receive a letter confirming their exemption.
People in category four will be contacted by the learning disabilities services in their health board area to discuss if further reasonable adjustments can be made before deciding whether to give an exemption.
People in category five will need to fill in a form on the Welsh Government website, including details of their clinician who can verify their medical exemption. Their case will then be considered by independent clinicians.
If individuals who believe that they are medically exempt have not been contacted by the end of March and believe they are in one of the categories listed, they can apply for an exemption using the form on the Welsh Government website or by contacting their health board.
Medical exemptions will not apply to the COVID Pass for international travel as the entry criteria for the country people are travelling to, is determined by that country and not by the UK. Anyone travelling outside the UK should check the criteria for the country they are travelling to before making travel arrangements and again before travelling, as entry requirements may change at short notice.
Who is currently getting vaccinated?
A guide to who is eligible for the vaccine including the interval between doses has been published by Public Health Wales.
Summary of our overall progress in Wales:
- In total more than 6.91million doses of the vaccine have been administered
- More than 2.52 million people have had a first dose and more than 2.39 million people have received at least 2 doses
- More than 1.92 million people have received a booster, with over 72% of people aged 12+ and more than 87% of people over 50 having received a booster
Public Health Wales has FAQs about the vaccine and safety. They also publish daily and weekly surveillance data releases.
Help on how to get your vaccination is available here: Get your COVID-19 vaccination
A range of information on our vaccination programme is available on our website, including guidance published relating to the priority groups.
Welsh Government statisticians are also publishing some of the more operational statistics attached to the programme each week.