All eligible adults will be offered a Covid vaccine by the autumn, under ambitious plans published by the Welsh Government today.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething will today publish the COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, which sets out three key milestones.
It comes as the latest figures show more than 86,000 people have received the vaccine. Wales will publish daily vaccine figures from today.
The three milestones set out in the plan are:
- By mid-February – all care home residents and staff; frontline health and social care staff; everyone over 70 and everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable will have been offered vaccination.
- By the Spring – vaccination will have been offered to all the other phase one priority groups. This is everyone over 50 and everyone who is at-risk because they have an underlying health condition.
- By the autumn – vaccination will have been offered to all other eligible adults in Wales, in line with any guidance issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
In total, around 2.5m people throughout Wales could be offered Covid vaccines by September, depending on further advice from the JCVI.
The strategy depends on sufficient and regular supplies of the vaccines being delivered. It will be kept under review in line with supply of the vaccine and any further advice from the JCVI.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“The Covid vaccines offer our best hope of a return to the normality we are looking forward to after such a difficult year, which has turned all our lives upside down.
“Delivering this vaccination programme to the people in Wales is a huge task but an enormous amount of work is going on to make it a success.
“We are making good progress with thousands more people being vaccinated every day.
“Over the coming week we will see the programme pick up further speed with more clinics opening and the first vaccines to be given by pharmacists.”
To reach as many people as safely and as quickly as possible, we are continuing to accelerate the vaccination programme as more supplies of the two vaccines become available.
- The number of mass vaccination centres increasing to 35 over the coming weeks, with at least one in each county. We started with seven, five weeks ago.
- Military support in the mass vaccination centres – there are 14 immunisers and 70 other personnel providing support.
- 100 GP practices providing clinics by the end of this week.
- The first pharmacies to provide the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will start vaccinating in North Wales in the next week.
- 14 mobile units, run by community nurses, which are taking the vaccine to care homes.
- Text message vaccination appointment reminders.
Dr Gillian Richardson, who leads the Covid vaccination programme in Wales, said:
“This is the biggest vaccination programme Wales has ever seen and the NHS is working incredibly hard to get the vaccine to as many people as possible, safely and as quickly as we can.
“People will be invited to come and have a vaccination at a clinic close to their home or at one of the mass vaccination centres. I know everyone is really keen to get their jab but please wait until you are contacted for your turn.
“Vaccination will give us a path out of this pandemic but it will take us a little while to protect all the people in Wales who need it – this is why it’s so important everyone continues to take steps to protect themselves and their families from coronavirus.”
Data for the number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Wales will be available every week day from today.
The daily release accounts for the total number of vaccines given until 10pm the previous day, which have been recorded on the COVID-19 Welsh Immunisation System. Actual figures will be higher due to ongoing data entry.