Welsh government updates vaccine strategy as JCVI sticks with age-based priority list for phase 2 of rollout
The UK will continue to prioritise people for covid vaccinations by age in the next phase of the rollout.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued interim advice on phase 2 prioritisation.
The Welsh government has brought forward aim its goal of offering the vaccine to all groups in phase 1 – priority groups 1-9 by the middle of April.
JCVI has recommended that phase 2 should continue with an age-based approach for prioritisation: “This is with the aim of continuing to focus on mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations while also continuing vaccine roll-out at pace.”
“Organising the programme by age is the most straightforward approach that allows everyone to be offered a vaccination as quickly as possible.” The advice states.
There have been calls for teachers, police and other key workers to be prioritised but the JCVI says a “more complex system would require the setting up of new systems and arrangements “which would take time and potentially slow down deployment.”
JVCI says the the following groups should be prioritised, once all at-risk groups in phase one have been offered at least one dose of the vaccine:
- all those aged 40-49 years
- all those aged 30-39 years
- all those aged 18-29 years
“We will build these considerations, as well as broader equalities considerations, in our wider communications and deployment arrangements, allowing for local operational flexibility where appropriate.”
“The 4 Chief Medical Officers agree with the JCVI advice and the 4 nations of the UK have subscribed to implementation of the advice.
That was our clear approach for the milestones 1 and 2 and will be maintained for the next phase.” the committee has said.
Following the latest JCVI advice, the Welsh government has published an updated vaccine strategy for Wales.
Confirming earlier key target dates and the adoption of the JCVI advice on prioritisation for the next phase of vaccinations.
The updated targets are to offer the vaccine to all current priority groups by the middle of April and to the wider adult population by the end of July.
The updated strategy also confirms Wales, in line with the other UK nations, will follow the interim advice of the JCVI on prioritisation for the wider adult population.
Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “A huge amount of progress has been made in rolling out the vaccine since our strategy was first published only six weeks ago.
I am pleased to confirm we have brought forward two key target dates, but I must emphasise again that this is based on getting the required supply from the UK Government.
It is encouraging that the UK Government has brought forward some of Wales’ supply allocation, but from the information available to us at this point there are concerns with both the type of supply and the timing of its delivery. We have always said that we could go even faster were the supply available.”
He added: “Today’s update also reflects on some of the achievements of our programme to-date, and provides information on the significant and really encouraging evidence that is beginning to emerge around vaccination. While we remain cautious, there really does appear to be much cause for hope thanks to the success of our vaccination programme.”
The updated strategy can be found here: https://gov.wales/covid-19-vaccine-strategy-update-february-2021
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