Posted: Wed 23rd Mar 2022

Covid-19 spring booster campaign for over 75s and care home residents begins across Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 23rd, 2022

Care home residents and those over the age of 75 have started being offered a further coronavirus vaccine as part of a spring booster campaign.

The rollout, which is the latest stage of the vaccination programme, also include those over the ager of 12 who are immunosuppressed.

It comes after Health Minister Eluned Morgan accepted advice from the JCVI to give another boost to people who are at higher risk of severe Covid-19.

It is advised that the spring dose is offered around six months after the last vaccine dose to maintain high levels of immunity for those deemed the most vulnerable.

Speaking yesterday at First Minister’s Questions, Mark Drakeford said that vaccine waning amongst the oldest and most vulnerable was one of the factors behind the recent increase in coronavirus cases across Wales.

The current seven day rolling average is 403 cases per 100,000 with the omicron sub-variant, BA.2, driving cases upwards.

Mr Drakeford said this, along with a waning in those boosted several months ago and a drop in the number of people taking precautions, has caused the rise in numbers.

He said: “After a prolonged period of the number of people falling ill with coronavirus in Wales falling week by week, in the last 10 days, we’ve seen numbers rising again, and not simply rising but rising rapidly and at an accelerating rate.

“Now, Wales continues to have the lowest incidence of coronavirus of any of the four UK nations, but the numbers that we are seeing are driving more people into hospital, and we’ve seen the very preliminary signs of more people needing intensive care as well.

“So these are very concerning circumstances that we are having to face over this week, as we come to the end of the three-week review.

“There are three factors that our advisers point to behind those numbers. The first, and the most significant, is the rise in BA.2—the variant of Omicron that is even more transmissible than the original BA.1.

“There is the impact of vaccine waning, particularly amongst the oldest and most vulnerable parts of the population, because they were vaccinated first and they had their boosters first, and if there is any waning, it hits them first.

“And then there are the signs that maybe people are not as committed as they were earlier in the pandemic to taking those simple actions—mask wearing, social distancing, and so on, that continue to be, collectively, the most important actions we can take.

“So, that is part of why the continued vaccination programme is so important; the spring booster campaign, aimed at people aged over 75.”

Asked when people eligible for their next booster jab, the first minister people will be contacted directly by the health board, adding that a “certain number of weeks have to elapse before it is safe and sensible for you to have the fourth vaccination.”

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon the health minster encouraged people to come forward for their booster and reminded people that it’s “never too late” to receive your first and second jab;

She also warned that a rise in cases will mean any further decision on removing the final coronavirus measures will be a “finely balanced judgement.”

She said: “For some older people it will be almost six months since they had their booster vaccine.

“That’s why we started our rollout of the spring booster campaign to increase immunity levels in certain age groups.

“The spring booster will be offered to everyone over 75. to all older care home residents and to everyone over 12 who is immunosuppressed.

“Children aged five to 11 are also being offered a vaccine. This is designed to increase their immunity against severe covid-19 and to minimise disruption to their education.

“I would urge families to discuss the offer and to read up about the vaccine.

“If you haven’t had a covid-19 vaccine and want one, it’s never too late to be vaccinated here in Wales.”

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