Posted: Mon 28th Dec 2020

Council looking to create second vaccination centre in Flintshire as Oxford vaccine approval could come within days

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Dec 28th, 2020

The UK is set to approve the Oxford university/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine “in the coming days” according to reports. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Approval by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will allow for a significant ramp up of the Covid inoculation programme locally. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The chief executive of Flintshire council has said “we’re all waiting eagerly” for the AstraZeneca vaccine to be given the green light. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Colin Everett also said the local authority is “pursuing” a second vaccination centre for the county to supplement the Mass Vaccination Centre in Deeside. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The initial launch of the vaccine programme in North Wales began on December 8th, just days after the Pfizer, Inc/BioNTech vaccine was given the green light for use in the UK. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Care home staff, health and social care workers and those aged 80 have been amongst the first to receive the jab. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

However, the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine must be kept at minus 70C and can be moved only four times before being used. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The UK government has already ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine which is more mobile and can be deployed in many different places ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

North Wales’ health board has said it will administer 680,000 doses of both vaccines to priority groups over the next three to four months. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Concerns have been raised with about when those in the high priority groups are going to receive their jab. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Last week Martin Jones told his parents, who live in Llangollen and are in their 90’s “have heard nothing about the vaccine.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He said: “I called the local GP service and they told me they too knew nothing about it and their advice to call 119 or refer to the Public Health Wales website.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The former only provides phone options relating to testing and the latter has no specific information regarding the rollout.” He said. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In Flintshire “the vaccination program is progressing well,” said council chief executive Colin Everett, he also revealed that a second vaccination centre in the county could be opened in Mold. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

During a council cabinet meeting last week, Mr Everett said: “We are getting increasing numbers of stocks of the initial [Pfizer, Inc/BioNTech] vaccine called ‘courageous.’ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He said: “We are all waiting eagerly for the AstraZeneca vaccine to receive its national authorisation which we hope is imminent.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“That will then increase hugely the vaccines available and is far more mobile vaccine that can be deployed in many different places.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Deeside Leisure Centre is now readied to go as a mass vaccination center alongside being an operating hospital.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We are pursuing a possible local vaccination centre in the Mold area to supplement and give support to people for the new year when the other vaccines come on stream.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Last week Betsi Cadwaladr health board issued a briefing on the vaccination programme in North Wales to local councils and elected members, it was subsequently posted onto social media. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The briefing notes that to date, “only a relatively small number of care home residents and those over 80 years of age have been vaccinated.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This will significantly increase from the beginning of January and the arrival of the Oxford vaccine is critical in this.” The briefing note explains. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The health board says that Welsh Government has provided details of the Oxford vaccine being available, with an expected initial delivery sometime in the first week of the New Year – the briefing notes “a provisional date which still has hurdles to clear with the MHRA, however we are developing plans to take that vaccine into care homes”. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

An overview of ‘escalation plans’ for January is also included in the report, “Increased availability of vaccines are matched with our workforce plan and increased vaccination sites (both Mass Vaccination Centres and Local Vaccination Centres and mobile vaccination teams to cater for care homes and the housebound.) ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Welsh Government has now put the necessary means in place to formally involve GPs and GP practices in administering vaccines.  We are ready for the inclusion of GPs to supplement our delivery models, which reflect the scale and geography of North Wales.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

A four week view was also provided: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  • w/c 21st December: Care home staff and BCUHB high risk staff
  • w/c 28th December: Care home staff
  • w/c 4th January:        Care home residents and staff, over 80s, BCUHB, Primary Care, WAST and social care staff
  • w/c 11th January:      Care home residents and staff, over 80s, BCUHB, Primary Care, WAST and social care staff

Roll out in Wales is based off the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) group that has advised that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This priority list is as follows: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from COVID-19. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Public Health Wales have a huge ‘frequently asked questions’ page about the vaccination programme here on their website. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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