Over 70% of UK adults given first dose of Covid vaccine – North Wales on course to vaccinate all by July
More than 70% of adults in the UK have now had their first dose of the COVID 19 vaccine the UK government has said today.
Health services across the UK have now administered a total of 57.8 million vaccines between 8 December and 18 May, including 36.9 million people with their first dose and 20.8 million with both doses.
The health board in North Wales has said it is on course to have offered a vaccine to all adults by July.
More than 670,000 jabs have been given in North Wales but the rate in which some cohorts are being vaccinated has varied regionally.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has said it “continues to receive enquiries about the difference between the numbers of people who have received a first dose of the vaccine across the six counties of North Wales.”
“Particularly in Flintshire where that number has been lower for those aged between 40 and 49.”
Data published yesterday shows that 58 percent of people in Flintshire aged between 40 and 49 had received a first dose of a COVID 19 vaccine.
That represents the lowest amount in percentage terms across the six North Wales counties.
However, 7,814 people in Flintshire have received their first vaccine dose, which is the highest actual number across the six North Wales counties.
A BCUHB spokesperson said. “This variation is a result of the population size of individual cohorts in each local authority area, the amount and type of vaccine received, and the need to offer an alternative first dose vaccine to the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to those aged under 30.”
This is “in line with guidance from the JCVI and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).”
“We are now starting to see those differences level out and this will continue over the next few weeks.” The spokesperson added.
Vaccination progress as of the end of 17 May 2021:
- 672,115 total vaccinations have been administered in North Wales
- First dose vaccines – 452,142
- Second dose vaccines – 219,973
Gill Harris, Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board said:
“We have now delivered more than 670,000 vaccinations in North Wales.”
“Despite having to make changes to our plans at short notice in response to revised national guidance, we remain on course to offer vaccinations to the remaining adult population before the end of July.”
“Once again we would like to thank our primary care colleagues in GP surgeries, Local Vaccination Centres and community pharmacies, as their expertise and dedication has made this incredible effort possible.”
“We know that being responsive has played a key part in us being able to adapt our delivery plans to ensure we can accommodate any changes in national guidance or policy.”
“It is important that anyone aged over 40 who has not yet been able to accept an appointment contacts us to arrange one”
“With lockdown restrictions easing and international travel opening up it is important we have vaccinated as many people as possible to help protect our communities.”
On Sunday, the UK Government announced that second dose appointments for the COVID-19 vaccination can be brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for those aged 50 and over in England.
“The Welsh Government recognises that Health Boards already have enough flexibility in terms of their delivery plans and are making good progress in delivering the vaccine. ”
“Therefore, delivering first doses remains a priority and subject to availability of vaccine and operational capacity will look to bring forward appointments for second doses where possible.”
“Appointments for second doses will continue to be prioritised in terms of age and clinical need.” The health board said.
BCUHB has said it is “continuing to see a high number of people failing to attend their appointments.”
“Vaccines are never thrown away, because we are able to call people in at short notice, but each missed appointment wastes vital NHS resources and creates significant logistical challenges for our staff.”
“While a small number of these missed appointments are a result of duplicate appointments, incorrect contact details or appointment letters arriving late, we know that in the vast majority of cases, it is because people have failed to notify us that they cannot attend, or do not wish to be vaccinated.” The health board has said.
COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Centre
BCUHB said it is “working hard to increase the number of call handlers in our COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Centre and recognise that some people are waiting much longer than we would like to get through.”
Only call a COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Centre for the following reasons:
- You have been invited to contact us to cancel or amend an appointment
- You are aged 40+ or in an at risk group, haven’t received a first dose appointment, and you are unable to access the internet to complete the online form (you will have your contact details taken and will receive a call back to book an appointment)
- You had your first dose anywhere other than a GP surgery, and you have been waiting more than eleven weeks for your second dose appointment
The COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Centre number is 03000 840004 and the lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm and Saturday to Sunday, 9am to 1pm.
“If you’re aged 18-39 please be patient – you shouldn’t be waiting too much longer now.” BCUHB has said.
Short notice appointments on the day
BCUHB has said: “In order to avoid wasting any vaccines because people have not turned up for appointments, from time to time we may offer short notice appointments to people in certain age groups on a first come first served basis.”
“In addition, there may be occasions where we invite people in certain age groups to book an appointment directly with us.”
“Where these appointments become available, they will be publicised on our social media accounts and shared with the local media, where possible.”
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