Provides updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme up to 16 February 2021.
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
Who is currently getting vaccinated?
Our priority list of people to receive the vaccine has been agreed by endorsing the UK’s independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The same priority list is being followed by all four nations in the UK and has the support of all 4 Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) within the UK.
Our focus to this point has been to offer a first dose of the vaccine to priority groups 1–4. This included all older person care home residents and staff; frontline health and social care staff; those 70 years of age and over; and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals. We said that, subject to supply, it was our ambition to do this by mid-February.
We confirmed on Friday 12 February that we had achieved this first milestone and had offered the vaccine to all those in priority groups 1-4. We were the first of the 4 UK nations to reach this key milestone in our vaccine programme.
By Sunday 14 February, we had exceeded the three quarters of a million mark and were also maintaining the top spot of UK countries having vaccinated the highest percentage of our population. On Sunday, this stood at over 24% of our total population and almost 30% of our over 16 years of age population.
So far more than 795,000 people have received their first dose of the vaccine in Wales.
Where are vaccinations taking place?
We have been building an infrastructure from the ground up. The delivery model is a blended 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. This model is also intended to get the vaccines into our older person care homes and to our older populations as soon as possible.
During the past week vaccinations were being administered in 514 locations across Wales, including:
- 52 mass vaccination centres
- 387 general practice locations
- 33 hospital locations
- there were 38 mobile teams operating
Achievement of markers and milestones
In our Strategy, we outlined 3 markers to deliver as part of our journey to achieving milestone 1 by mid-February:
Marker 1 was to have offered a first dose of the vaccine to all frontline Welsh Ambulance Trust staff by 18 January. This has been achieved.
Marker 2 was to have offered the vaccine to all older person care home residents and staff by the end of January. This has been achieved.
Marker 3 was to have 250 GP practices deploying the vaccine by the end of January. This was achieved and exceeded ahead of the target date for the marker.
Milestone 1 in our strategy was to have:
- offered the vaccine to all individuals in cohorts 1–4 by mid February. That includes all older person care home residents and staff; frontline health and social care staff; those 70 years of age and over; and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.
As set out above, we confirmed on Friday 12 February that we had achieved this milestone. All those in these first 4 priority groups have been offered the vaccine and over 80% have now received their first dose.
This is an incredible achievement and an important moment to reflect on the success of our programme so far. Thank you to NHS Wales, local partners and all the volunteers involved in this fantastic effort. Thank you also to everyone that has taken up the offer of this life saving vaccination; thank you for the part you have played in this national effort to Keep Wales Safe.
There will, of course, be reasons why some individuals were unable to take up their offer of the vaccine and there will be some that could not be reached. We have implemented a ‘no one left behind’ policy and are actively following up individuals that have not yet had their vaccine. We are also asking anyone in groups 1-4 that have not heard about their appointment to contact their health board. Full details are available.
Upcoming markers and milestones
The next key point in our strategy is milestone 2. We have said that by the end of April, subject to supply, our aim is to have offered the vaccine to all those in priority groups 5-9. That’s:
- everyone aged 50 to 69
- everyone over 16 with an underlying health condition, which puts them at risk of serious illness
- many invaluable unpaid carers who provide care for someone who is vulnerable to the virus
Appointments are already being scheduled for those in priority groups 5 and 6. We are moving through the priority cohorts and are on track to do this in the timescale we have set ourselves. We will say more about our plans for the remaining milestones in our strategy over the coming weeks.
Over the next couple of weeks we are expecting a slight reduction in the amount of vaccines received into the UK. This is a planned and expected change in supply that will affect the whole of the UK. We have factored this into our plans and it will not affect appointments or delay when individuals are due to receive their second dose. Following this expected reduction, supply is due to ramp up significantly from the beginning of March. Our infrastructure and capacity will flex over the coming weeks to respond to the amount of supply available; and will be ready to respond again to the increase in March.
Public Health Wales is publishing daily and weekly surveillance data releases.
Welsh Government statisticians are also publishing some of the more operational statistics attached to the programme each week.