‘NHS ready to offer COVID-19 vaccine’ say Public Health Wales
Public Health Wales say the NHS is ready to offer a COVID-19 vaccine to people in North Wales from 1 December when approved for use.
Trials for the vaccine are currently taking place across various countries to make sure it is safe and reliable for use in adults and could mean restrictions revolving the pandemic are eased as well as those most vulnerable being better protected.
Public Health Wales have been planning ‘for some time’ to make sure systems are ready including logistics for transporting and storing the vaccine, having suitable venues at hand as well as sufficiently trained staff able to administer it.
Eligibility will at first be based on those who are at most risk to COVID-19 since there may only be small quantities available to North Wales, but Public Health Wales say all adults will ‘eventually’ be offered a vaccination.
A spokesperson said: “The groups to be prioritised to receive a COVID-19 vaccine first are decided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) at a UK level – this is based on knowledge around who is most at risk from COVID-19.
“This interim ranking of priorities is a combination of clinical risk stratification and an age-based approach, which should optimise both targeting and deliverability.”
A prioritisation ranking was included:
- Older adults’ resident in a care home and care home workers
- All those 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over
- All those 65 years of age and over
- High-risk adults under 65 years of age
- Moderate-risk adults under 65 years of age
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
- Rest of the population (priority to be determined)
In terms of trusting if the vaccine works, any vaccine including this one will have to work and be safe in order to reach the general public in the first place.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Medicines Research Authority have sped the process of approval regarding administrative paperwork whilst funding has been given by the Government for trials, so those worrying that the vaccine has been rushed through can be relieved it has not.
Public Health Wales also say they will be ‘open and transparent’ on characteristics of each vaccine as well as making sure doctors, nurses and vaccinators are fully informed of vaccine characteristics, effectiveness and risks.
Information will be provided to people before vaccination, which will also be available online, to reassure them about safety and to allow informed decisions.
There is currently no date for a COVID-19 vaccine to become available just yet, but Public Health Wales will regularly update with the latest information.
For more frequently asked queries regarding the vaccine, visit https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/covid-19-vaccination-information/about-the-vaccine/.
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