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Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
19 May 2021
Last updated:

As I begin work on this vital portfolio, I would like to say how incredibly proud and grateful I am to the thousands of people who have worked so hard across the country to make our vaccination programme a success. I would like to thank my predecessor, Vaughan Gething, for his incredible hard work throughout the pandemic. Vaccination is making a real difference to the course of this pandemic.

More than two million people in Wales have said yes to a COVID-19 vaccine and received their first dose of the lifesaving vaccine. Data published today shows that our vaccination teams have now administered the milestone of 2,046,011first doses and 939,072 second doses.

Protecting the vulnerable has always been at the heart of our response.  The speed of our vaccination roll out and our high take up rate means we are well on our way towards that important goal, with over 95% of people resident in older people care homes and our over 70s having received their first dose. It is even more promising that over 91% of people resident in older people care homes and those over 70 have received their second dose to complete the course and protect them against COVID-19.

80% of all adults in Wales have received their first vaccine and 36% of all adults in Wales have received their second dose to complete the course. However, the emergence of the so-called India variant (VOC-21APR-02) is a reminder that COVID-19 has not gone away yet, nor will it do so as long as international travel or home-grown variants from raised transmission occurs. The numbers in Wales of this variant are low and we have high numbers of people already vaccinated, including high numbers of second doses in our most vulnerable groups. But we are closely monitoring this variant in Wales and in line with the latest JCVI advice, we are working with our local incident teams and health boards to facilitate bringing forward, subject to supply, second doses of vaccination where it will reduce infections, severe illness and hospitalisations. Our Test Trace Protect teams continue to ensure we trace and monitor contacts of variant cases and are also further developing local plans if targeted or surge testing is required.

By taking up the offer of vaccination when it is your turn, including the second dose, you are helping to keep Wales safe. For those who have not yet taken up the offer of the vaccine, it is never too late and I urge you to arrange an appointment through your local health board.

On Monday I visited Bayside mass vaccination centre in Cardiff & Vale Health Board, and I was again inspired by NHS staff and volunteers who were there reassuring people and making our COVID-19 vaccination programme possible. By continuing to work together, we are confident we will achieve the aim of offering vaccination to all eligible adults by the end of July.