Posted: Fri 15th Jan 2021

More than half of GP’s currently administering Covid vaccines in Wales are within Betsi Cadawaldr health board’s area.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

GP surgeries in the North are leading the way as more than half those currently administering Covid vaccines in Wales are within Betsi Cadawaldr health board’s area.

Dr Chris Stockport, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s executive director of primary and community care, revealed the figures and said it was also more than half of those signed up to give out the vaccine in the region.

He said a pilot scheme allowing pharmacies to hand out the jab within the health board area was also being planned.

He repeated his call for people to wait for letters explaining the roll-out and not to inundate surgeries and dedicated health phone lines with enquiries about when they will receive the vaccine.

The board yesterday released a list of immunsation centres it will be using in addition to the three mass vaccination venues in Bangor, Llandudno and Deeside.

Dr Stockport said 52 GP surgeries in the region were now inoculating patients against the novel coronavirus strain.

He added: “The remaining practices will start delivering the vaccine in the coming weeks.

“We appreciate the anxiety felt by the public and the desire to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

“However, we urge people not to contact their GP practice directly as they will be contacted by telephone or letter when it is their turn to be vaccinated.

“We are currently working to introduce a pilot with one pharmacy in North West Wales and we will be asking all of our pharmacy contractors for expressions of interest shortly.

“Based on the learning from the pilot, we hope to roll the service out across North Wales over the coming weeks.

“Every household in North Wales will receive a letter this week. This will explain in more detail the list of priority groups that will be vaccinated first, how they will be contacted and other useful information.”

A Welsh Government spokesman confirmed the rate of take-up by GPs across the whole of Wales.

He said: “We have been planning for the rollout of coronavirus vaccines since the start of the pandemic and primary care, including GPs, have always been integral to this.

“As outlined in our Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy (published on Monday this week) we have always planned for GPs to administer vaccines and we expect more than 100 GP surgeries will be running clinics by the end of this week.

“The strategy also confirms our aim to have 250 GP practices involved in vaccine deployment by the end of January.”

North Wales, with around 21% of the Welsh population, has now administered  16,000 vaccine doses, more than any other area in the country, after a slow start.

There were fears it wasn’t getting a fair share of the jab, as initial figures revealed areas in the south and south-west were seeing significantly higher rates of immunisation.

However the rate stepped up markedly in the North after the issue was highlighted.

The Welsh Government spokesman said: “Doses are distributed to each of Wales’ health boards based on a population share of the priority groups.

“Each health board will have a different proportional allocation, appointment bookings and reserve lists, and individualised plans in place for how best to safely distribute the vaccine to their priority population, whilst keeping wastage to a minimum.

“Health boards are provided with regular updates about the vaccine supplies available to Wales with all orders confirmed in the week before they are scheduled for delivery.”

Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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