V aughan Gething has outlined what people in Wales can expect from the vaccine rollout in the coming months.
With Wales last week becoming the first UK nation to vaccinate the first four priority groups, attention is now turning to the next round of vaccinations.
Speaking at the Welsh Government press conference today Health Minister Mr Gething outlined who would be next.
“Today, we begin the next big effort to vaccinate people in the priority groups five to nine at the same time as we’re providing second dose appointments to all those in the first four groups,” he said.
“We’ll start by offering appointments to people in groups five and six. This includes people aged 65 to 69, people aged 16 to 64 and with an underlying health condition, younger adults in residential care settings and a great many unpaid carers who are looking after people who are vulnerable.
“This is another massive logistical effort and we will be using all the resources we have available to use in the days and weeks ahead, including local pharmacies, to make sure we can vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.”
Priority 1 contains two groups – 15,750 care home residents and 24,500 care home staff.
Priority 2 has three groups – 111,850 front-line health care workers, 40,000 front-line social care workers and 174,150 aged 80 and over.
Priority 3 has 126,800 people aged 75 and over.
Priority 4 contains two groups – 163,300 aged 70 and over and 84,000 individuals considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” aged between 16 and 69.
Priority 5 has 167,150 people aged 65 and over without a risk condition.
Priority 6 has 321,400 people aged 16-64 in an at-risk group, including carers and younger adults in residential care settings.
Priority 7 is for the 125,900 people aged 60 and over without a risk condition.
Priority 8 contains 150,600 people aged 55 and over without a risk condition.
Priority 9 is for the 162,850 people aged 50 and over without a risk condition.
The rest consists of 1.098,100 people without a risk condition aged between 16 and 49.
The total number of priority cases, corrected to remove double counting, is 1,476,150.
Altogether, the number of people in Wales who will be offered the vaccine is 2,574,250.
Mr Gething also spoke about an upcoming temporary fall in the amount of vaccines available across the UK as a whole but said this wouldn’t affect people getting their second doses.
“We have to factor in a temporary slowdown of vaccine supply across the UK to our plans over the next couple of weeks,” he said.
“I want to be clear we have worked this into our plans and this will not delay anyone’s second dose appointment.
“We expect supplies to quickly pick up again by March and, if this happens, we will be on track to offer everyone in groups five to nine a vaccine by the end of April.”
You can see when you are likely to receive the vaccine using an online calculator available here.
The Welsh Government is also calling on people who decided previously not to take up a vaccine but had changed their mind to come forward.
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Mr Gething issued this appeal: “Take-up has been incredibly high among the first four priority groups.
“If anyone wasn’t sure about having the vaccine when they were first asked and has now changed their mind, it’s not too late to get an appointment – there are contact details on every health board website and on our website too.”