Provides updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme up to 27 July 2021.
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.
Our National Vaccination Strategy was published on 11 January and is based on the detailed planning NHS Wales had been doing.
Our strategy is focused on 3 key areas:
- Our priorities – we continue to work closely with the UK Government on supply. Based on what we know about supply and the priority cohorts set by the JCVI, we have set key milestones.
- Our vaccination infrastructure – making sure that people can access their vaccination offer - the places to go to get vaccinated, people to give the vaccination and the appointment and digital recording and reporting system set up.
- Keeping up to date and informed about the vaccination programme – we are committed to providing information to keep everyone in Wales updated about the vaccination programme.
What’s new this week?
The JCVI have published their advice on vaccinating children. Following months of discussion and consideration of evidence, the JCVI recommends that children and young people aged 12 -15 years with specific underlying health conditions that put them at risk of serious COVID-19 should be offered a COVID-19 vaccination.
Essentially the clinically extremely vulnerable patient group now includes young people aged 12 and over. The NHS will work quickly to identify these young people and to offer them the vaccine.
Young people aged 16 to 17 years of age who are at higher risk of serious COVID-19, as currently set out in the Green Book, have already been offered the COVID-19 vaccination and should continue to be offered.
Children and young people aged 12 years and over who are household contacts of persons who are immunosuppressed should be offered a COVID-19 vaccination on the understanding that the main benefits from vaccination are related to the potential for indirect protection of their household contact who is immunosuppressed. There is a self-referral form.
JCVI also advises that it is reasonable to allow a lead-in time to offer vaccination to those children who are within three months of their 18th birthday to ensure good uptake of vaccine in newly-turned 18 year olds. We will move quickly to vaccinate those turning 18 years old, including those intending to go to university.
As a result of the low incidence and severity of COVID-19 in children and the reported safety issues, the JCVI does not currently advise routine universal vaccination of all other children and young people less than 18 years of age.
We are aware there have been calls for children to be vaccinated to prevent them getting post-acute COVID-19 syndrome (long COVID). COVID rates in children are relatively low and there is still limited information about the overall direct effects of the virus on them. However, studies are emerging which show that this risk is very low in children, especially in comparison with adults, and similar to the secondary health complications of other respiratory viral infections in children.
We remain in close contact with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on this matter and have established a group to consider the impacts of Long COVID on both adults and children and co-ordinate the wide ranging response needed. The group includes children’s policy leads as well as clinical and research colleagues. The group has committed to establishing a sub-group, chaired by Dr Mark Walker, to consider the establishment of a paediatric care pathway for use with children with Long COVID in Wales.
Three quarters of people in Wales have now had both doses of the coronavirus vaccine. 78% of adults in Wales have had their second dose and 90% of adults in Wales have had their first dose. The second dose is essential for longer term protection so it’s just as important that second dose offers are taken up. There is good emerging evidence to suggest two doses of the vaccine is helping to reduce the risk of hospitalisation as a result of the delta variant.
We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get their vaccine, particularly younger adults who have other demands on their time. Vaccination centres across many parts of Wales are open for walk-in appointments.
We are aiming to offer all eligible adults two doses of vaccine by the end of September.
This is a crucial step forward in our fight against COVID-19 and getting back to doing more of the things we enjoy. It is important that we maintain high-levels of vaccine uptake to keep Wales safe, this is for both first and second doses. Every dose administered and every person protected really does make a difference.
If you haven't had your invitation or you need to rearrange, please contact your health board, help on how to get your vaccination is available here: Get your COVID-19 vaccination if you think you have been missed.
COVID-19 vaccination status
The NHS COVID Pass allows you to show others that you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine when travelling abroad. If you were vaccinated in Wales and are aged 16 or over, you can get a digital NHS COVID Pass.
All AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS COVID Pass as Vaxzevria. The European Medicines Agency has authorised this vaccine and we are confident travel will not be affected. Where there is a misunderstanding with individual countries, the UK Government has agreed to discuss the integrity of the vaccines directly with the relevant Government. For example, there was an issue with Malta and the Maltese government confirmed on 15 July that they accept all COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and all UK travel advice was updated.
The EU Digital COVID-19 certificate is currently for EU citizens only, or third country nationals legally staying or resident in the EU. Ensuring safe and open travel with our global partners is a clear priority and UK Government are engaging the European Commission on certification.
There has been media coverage of volunteers, who have selflessly participated in trial vaccination, not being able to evidence their vaccinations and therefore having difficulties with travelling abroad. Trial vaccination are accepted as valid throughout the UK and the UK Government is working with WHO on behalf of all nations to encourage other countries to also accept them as valid. Not all the data from trials will show on the Covid Pass until the end of July but trial teams are in communication with volunteers affected by this.
It has been agreed that all adults who are fully vaccinated with NHS COVID-19 vaccines and under-18s, do not have to self-isolate on their return from amber-list countries. The exception to this is France, from where on arrival people will continue to be required to self-isolate for 10 days, even when fully vaccinated. This is because of concerns about the Beta variant which is understood to more easily evade our vaccines. Fully vaccinated means that two weeks have passed since you have had your final dose of an approved vaccine under the UK vaccination programme, are taking part in formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, or under the age of 18 and resident in the UK.
In addition, in August, as part of the next 21 day review cycle, we aim to remove the requirement for people who have been fully vaccinated to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive. We will also consider other potential exemptions, such as for those under the age of 18. The NHS COVID-19 App will align with these change when they are made. Until any changes are introduced it is essential that anyone asked to self-isolate does so.
Who is currently getting vaccinated?
We continue to follow the UK’s independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority list, followed by all four nations in the UK and has the support of all 4 Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) within the UK.
- In total more than 4.2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Wales
- High take up of both first and second doses in priority groups 1-4, protecting our most vulnerable
- Over 2.29 million people have had a first dose and over 2 million people have received their full course of vaccine
- Vaccine is the best way to prevent serious illness and the spread of the disease
- Overall, 90% of our adult population have had a first dose and 78% of all adults in Wales have completed the two-dose course
As we continue to operate on the principle of no one left behind, the NHS continues to go back and offer those in priority groups 1-9 who, for various reason, have not yet taken up their offer.
That means, we are now vaccinating:
- First doses for remaining adults aged 18 and over so that no one is left behind
- Second doses
Where are vaccinations taking place?
Our infrastructure has been built from the ground up and is a blended delivery model. This is aimed at providing a mix of sites in order to maximise speed of roll out, ensure safety, meet the needs of the characteristics of the vaccines, be as conveniently located as possible and, importantly make sure we give equitable access across the country and all communities.
During the past week vaccinations were being administered in 183 locations across Wales, including:
- 51 mass vaccination centres
- 77 general practice locations
- 27 pharmacies
- 16 hospital locations
- there were 8 mobile teams operating
The frequency of these update will change over Recess. We will publish the next update at the end of August and in the new term the updates will be provided on a fortnightly basis.
Vaccination uptake for the UK, nations and Scottish local authorities have been updated to use the latest population estimates for mid-2020, published by the Office for National Statistics. The updated population has been applied to all dates throughout the vaccination programme. You will find overall and comparison data for vaccinations in the UK here.
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.