Posted: Wed 17th Mar 2021

Over 50s in North Wales are to receive vaccine invitations from next week, health board confirms

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 17th, 2021

Those in the remaining top priority groups are to start receiving invitations for their coronavirus vaccinations.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said the vaccine rollout in Wales was progressing with “confidence and pace” towards the April milestone of offering a vaccine to everyone in the top nine priority groups.

So far those in groups one to six have either been vaccinated or are having appointment booked.

North Wales health board has confirmed the timeline for when those aged over 50 and in the remaining top priority groups will be contacted ahead of the next vaccination milestone in mid-April.

  • Group 6 (people aged 16-65 years in an at-risk group): all invitations due to be sent by the end of this week.
  • Group 7 (people aged 60-64 years): all invitations due to be sent by 22 March.
  • Group 8 (people aged 55-59 years): all invitations due to be sent by 29 March.
  • Group 9 (people aged 50-54 years): starting 22 March with all invitations due to be sent by 5 April.

Speaking at a Plenary session yesterday he said: “With increased vaccine supply at present, we expect to see higher numbers of first doses administered whilst also maintaining the pace of our second base programme at the same time. We have flexed our delivery capacity upwards in response to the increase in supplies. It remains the case that if supplies are provided, then we will deliver.147

“More than 90 per cent of people between the ages of 65 and 69 have already received their first dose of the vaccine, and people between the ages of 50 and 64 are beginning to be called for their appointments.

“We are making strong progress. Our second dose programme has been running for around a month now, and already, over a quarter of a million people here in Wales have had their full course of the vaccine, which is of course encouraging news. This includes more than one third of care home residents and over half of their care staff.

“The second dose is essential for longer-term protection, so it’s really important that second dose offers are taken up.”

Mr Gething also moved to offer reassurance about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after a number of European countries temporarily suspended the rollout of that specific version.

The move came after reports from Norway over the weekend that three health-care workers who had received the vaccine were treated for blood clots.

The European Union medicines regulator reiterated yesterday that there is “no indication” that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine causes blood clots, after several countries paused their rollouts.

Mr Gething said: “And I want to reassure Members that people’s safety will always come first. We continually and closely review vaccine safety reports and the independent regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, continues to review the evidence on safety.

“I recognise the reports about some European countries pausing AstraZeneca delivery because of concerns around blood clots. Across the UK, over 12 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have now been delivered.

“But the MHRA state reports of blood clots received so far not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.

“People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.

“The World Health Organisation, the European Medicines Agency, Thrombosis UK and all four UK chief medical officers all support the MHRA position on the safety of our vaccines, and the alternative risk of not receiving the protection that the vaccines provide.”

Gill Harris, deputy chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has said: Those people in groups one to five who have previously been offered a vaccine, but were unable to attend an appointment or have changed their mind about being vaccinated are also being encouraged to come forward and contact the health board.

Ms Harris said: “People in these priority groups may not have been able to take up an appointment because they have had COVID within the last 28 days, or been ill for other reasons; they’ve had a different vaccination within the last 7 days; or they may not have wanted the vaccine when it was first offered. The door is always open for anyone who has changed their mind.

“Our COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Centre number should only be used by people invited by letter or text message to contact us to arrange or amend an appointment, or by people in Priority Groups 1-5, who want the COVID-19 vaccine, but haven’t yet been able to take up a first appointment.

“People in Priority Groups 1-5 can contact their GP to book a local appointment, or, for an appointment at a Mass Vaccination Centre (MVC), the telephone number for our COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Centre is 03000 840004.

“Opening hours are currently 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. However, effective from Saturday 20th March, the Booking Centre opening hours will change to 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday.”

 

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