Provides updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme up to 8 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?
On 16 February 2022, the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) published its recommendations to further expand the COVID-19 vaccination programme to children aged five to 11 who are not considered to be at clinical risk.
The JCVI recommends this as a precautionary offer with the aim of increasing this age group’s immunity in advance of any potential future waves of COVID-19 and will enable children to benefit from as much time in school as possible.
On 21 February 2022, the JCVI published a statement, which recommends an additional spring booster dose for our most vulnerable individuals.
The Committee has recommended, as a precautionary strategy, a second booster dose in the spring for:
- adults aged 75 years and over
- residents in a care home for older adults
- individuals aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed (as defined in in the Green Book)
Health boards are already planning to offer the vaccine to all five to 11 year olds from mid-March onwards and they will also be factoring in the need to prioritise a spring booster for the most vulnerable during this time.
Our online rebooking system is live and being integrated to health board COVID-19 vaccine delivery plans. This is another tool for health boards to provide additional contact methods for people to reschedule their appointment if the one they have been allocated is not convenient. More than 500 people have successfully used the system so far. Health boards will continue to have phone lines available for people who do not receive the rebooking text or are unable to access the online rebooking service.
On 24 February 2022, we published our COVID-19 vaccination strategy for 2022, setting out how the vaccination programme will continue to protect the most vulnerable people and keep Wales safe.
The aims and priorities outlined in the new strategy include:
- A continued focus on 'no one left behind', with a pledge to ensure that accessibility is not a factor which influences take up
- Health boards will continue to offer a bespoke vaccination service to their local communities
- We will work with Public Health Wales and NHS Wales to make sure vaccination information is easily available and tailored by age and circumstance
- Our online rebooking service will provide a convenient way for people to reschedule appointments
You can read our latest strategy
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. Health board details are here: 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.
Unvaccinated people are more likely to need critical care in hospitals for COVID including the Omicron variant, and their outcomes are usually worse than those who are vaccinated.
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 6.8 million doses of the vaccine have been administered
- More than 2.52 million people have had a first dose and more than 2.38 million people have received at least 2 doses
- More than 1.9 million people have received a booster, with over 71% of people aged 12+ and more than 86% of people over 50 having received a booster
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.