Over 31,000 people in Flintshire have now had a booster jab
A total of 1.18 million Covid vaccines have now been given out across North Wales, the region’s health board has said.
The figure includes 141,446 booster jabs with health staff said to be working “as quickly and safely as possible” to roll out the vaccination programme.
Over 31,000 people (24.6% of all those eligible) in Flintshire have now had booster jab, according to Public Health Wales data.
A third Pfizer BioNTech covid-19 vaccine dose—known as a booster dose—provides “significant increased protection” against symptomatic disease in those aged 50 and over, irrespective of which vaccine they initially received.
A study by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found that at least 20 weeks after being fully vaccinated with two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease was 44.1%, while for Pfizer it was 62.5%.
But two weeks after receiving the booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection increased to 93.1% (95% confidence interval, 91.7 to 94.3) in those who initially had two doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, and 94.0% (95% CI, 93.4 to 94.6) for those who had Pfizer.
UKHSA head of immunisation Mary Ramsay said, “We know that in older age groups, protection from the first two vaccines is beginning to wear off, leaving millions that need extra protection as we head into winter.”
“That is why it is critical that you come forward for your booster as soon as you become eligible so we can drive down hospital admissions and deaths over the winter.”
In its latest update, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board advised booster appointments are being sent to people by post in chronological order at least six months after the date the second dose was given.
Ffion Johnstone, the board’s west area director, said six months is only the minimum qualifying gap between the second dose and the booster.
She said people waiting more than six months since their second dose for the booster would not be classed as “overdue” and therefore do not need to contact their GP or the health board as they will automatically receive an invitation.
Discussing booster jabs for those aged 40-49, she said: “The JCVI has also recommended that booster vaccination is extended to 40-49 year olds, provided at least six months have passed since their second dose.
“Because of this six month minimum interval, the vast majority of those aged 40-49 will not become eligible until at least mid-January.
“There is no need to contact us to arrange an appointment, as we will automatically invite you as soon as it is your turn.
“We are continuing to invite people in chronological order at least six months after the date the second dose was given, not necessarily from the oldest to the youngest.”
In a further update, Ms Johnstone said the size of the workforce available to administer jabs had reduced by around 50 per cent compared to the initial rollout. To address this the health board is continually looking to recruit new staff.
Over 1,300 have responded to the latest recruitment drive and expressed an interest in joining the vaccination teams.
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