Provides updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme up to 6 July 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.
What’s new this week?
We have achieved Milestone 3, more than 75% of adults aged under-50 in Wales have had their first dose. We have achieved the final milestone we set ourselves in our COVID-19 Vaccination strategy early. We will move from phase 2 to the next phase of our programme. This is a crucial step forward in our fight against COVID-19 and getting back to doing more of the things we enjoy.
Our NHS will not stop here, we will keep working to do more and increase take up beyond 75%, and deliver second doses for everyone that needs one, but we need everyone’s help to do this. Health boards are working hard to make sure that no one is left behind and that everyone in Wales receives their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination.
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 were open for walk-in appointments last weekend and will continue to reopen for walk-in appointments.
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.
Our second dose programme is running alongside our first dose programme. 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 are aiming to offer all eligible adults two doses of vaccine by the end of September.
We now have a level of certainty about the Autumn Booster Campaign. The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation has published interim advice on 30 June as we move into a new phase of the COVID-19 Vaccination programme. This provides us with a welcome steer for the next stage of deployment. The JCVI interim advice recommends the autumn booster campaign begins in September 2021, its purpose being to reduce any further incidence of COVID-19 and maximise protection in those who are most vulnerable to serious infection, ahead of the winter months. The categories of people eligible for a booster dose are classified into Stages 1 and 2, which largely mirror cohorts 1-9 in Phase 1 of the programme:
- Stage 1 includes care home residents, people aged over 70, frontline health and social care workers, clinically extremely vulnerable adults and those who are immunosuppressed.
- Stage 2 includes adults aged 16 – 49 years who are in an influenza or COVID-19 at-risk group. Definitions for the booster phase categories for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and ‘at risk’ will be clarified in the Green Book in due course. We will continue to be guided by the advice of the JCVI on eligibility groups for COVID-19. We will make sure that those who are eligible for their COVID-19 vaccine or flu vaccine do not miss out.
We are working with partners to provide a service that will produce a COVID-19 vaccination status statement. This will allow residents in Wales to evidence (either electronically via a smartphone, or manually on paper) their COVID-19 vaccination history.
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. NHS Digital is working with NHS Wales to put in place data sharing arrangements between Wales and England. All people vaccinated in Wales or England who are registered with a GP in Wales can already obtain their digital COVID pass through the NHS website from 23 June 2021. All people registered with a GP in England but vaccinated in Wales will be able to evidence their COVID Vaccination data through the NHS website from Monday 12 July.
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. All doses used in the UK have been subject to rigorous safety and quality checks, including individual batch testing and physical site inspections, by the medicine’s regulator, the MHRA.
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 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 2.26 million people have had a first dose and over 1.74 million people have received their full course of vaccine
- the vaccine is the best way to prevent serious illness and the spread of the disease
- overall, 89% of our adult population have had a first dose and 69% 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 259 locations across Wales, including:
- 53 mass vaccination centres
- 139 general practice locations
- 36 pharmacies
- 15 hospital locations
- there were 9 mobile teams operating
No one left behind is a key principle to our vaccination programme. Whilst the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine in Wales has been extremely high, there are still groups of the population who, despite receiving more than one offer, remain unvaccinated. The NHS will always be ready for you if you didn’t take up your first offer of COVID-19 vaccination for whatever reason but have changed your mind, it is never too late to arrange an appointment.
It is important that we maintain the current 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. The vaccines are safe and effective. Your second dose of vaccine is important for longer lasting protection against COVID-19 and against the Delta variant.
Public Health Wales has FAQs about the vaccine, safety and fertility. They also publish daily and weekly surveillance data releases.
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.