Posted: Sun 3rd Jan 2021

North Wales lagging behind most of Wales on delivery of Covid vaccine

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jan 3rd, 2021

Latest data released last week shows delivery of Covid vaccination in North Wales is lagging behind most of Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Figures show that from the 8 December to the 27 December, 34,509 people resident in Wales were given their first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Health boards in Wales are receiving their allocation of vaccine in proportion to the size of its priority population. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which covers North Wales and is the largest health board in Wales, has carried out the second lowest number of vaccinations despite having the largest population. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Data shows that in North Wales, 4604 doses on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been administered. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

That represents just 0.66% of the 699559 people resident in the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board region which covers the six counties of North Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The number of vaccinations in Wales up until 27 December account for 1.09% (1.12% inc non residents) of the Welsh population. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In England, 1.4% have received a jab, while in Scotland it is 1.7%, and 1.6% in Northern Ireland. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


A total of 944,539 people in the UK were given a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab between December 9 and 27. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The breakdown is 35,335 in Wales (including healthcare workers who work in Wales but live over the border in England), 786,000 in England, 92,188 in Scotland, and 31,016 in Northern Ireland. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Commenting on the latest figures, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Andrew RT Davies MS, said: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone in our amazing Welsh NHS who is doing an incredible job under tough conditions to get the vaccine to the people who need it most. Sadly, the Welsh Government are letting them down.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“There are 3 million people in Wales, the Welsh Government needs to step-up and take some leadership in ensuring that the vaccine gets out quicker, with the UK Government aiming for 2 million vaccinations as week, Wales needs to be doing 100,000 vaccines a week. A target we’re a long way off.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“With the Oxford vaccine on its way Wales needs to be prepared and ready to roll out a first-class vaccination programme to ensure we don’t fall behind any further. At the current levels we’ll still be vaccinating in years to come.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Welsh Government Health Minister Vaughan Gething

Health minister Vaughan Gething said that “comparisons are naturally being made on the number of vaccinations administered by the four nations of the UK.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Whilst I recognise the data indicates there are other nations ahead of us, the national data presented at this very early stage of the vaccination roll out should be considered provisional and a snapshot of ongoing activity.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We know, for example, that there will be lags in data entry. There are likely to be small differences between nations and figures for each country may be disproportionately impacted by any delivery or data issues within countries.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Mr Gething said that in Wales, “we have been building a vaccination infrastructure from scratch and health boards have had to upscale over the past month.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Daily vaccination rates are increasing across Wales and, looking ahead, all health boards are preparing for significant expansion in capacity from the beginning of January, with the coming on-stream of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The vaccine will be offered in some GP surgeries from Monday.  Health boards are also increasing capacity now that foundations have been laid – with one doubling appointments next week as a result of increased staff capacity and having made efficiencies, as staff have become more experienced in handling the vaccine.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Welsh government has said it is following the advice of the four UK Chief Medical Officers to prioritise first doses and introduce a gap of up to 12 weeks for the second dose. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We are following the latest scientific advice as we have throughout the pandemic. Having studied evidence on both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that we should prioritise giving as many people in at-risk groups their first dose, rather than providing two doses in as short a time as possible.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The four CMOs agree with the JCVI that at this stage of the pandemic prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list will protect the greatest number of at risk people overall in the shortest possible time. It will ensure that more at-risk people are able to get protection from a vaccine in the coming weeks and months, reducing deaths and starting to ease pressure on our NHS.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

On Monday people in Wales will begin to get the first shot of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Unlike the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine – which was approved for use in the UK last week –  is stored at normal vaccine fridge temperatures. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This means it will have few storage and transportation issues, making it much easier to use in community settings such as care homes and primary care settings like GP surgeries. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

People are asked not to phone their GP, pharmacy or hospital asking when they will get a vaccine. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

More information on the vaccination programme in Wales can be viewed here: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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