Posted: Mon 18th Jan 2021

Welsh Government – “We’re not holding back any vaccines”

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jan 18th, 2021

The Welsh government has said it is “not holding back any vaccines” but there have been concerns that some of the doses are not being administered.

Public Health Wales said that up to 10pm on Sunday, 151,737 people have had their first dose of the vaccine – 5% of the population.

But it emerged last week that more than 300,000 doses of vaccine have so far been delivered into Wales.

Mark Drakeford said that while all supplies of the Oxford vaccine are being used as they are delivered, the Pfizer vaccine is being staggered on a week by week basis with no new delivery expected until early February.

Dr David Bailey, chair of the British Medical Association in Wales has called on the Welsh Government to rethink its strategy.

Mark Drakeford told BBC Radio 4 this morning: “The Pfizer vaccine we have has to last us until the beginning of February.”

“We won’t get another delivery of that until the very end of January or probably in the beginning of February.”

“Therefore, we have to use that over that six week stretch. There will be no point, and certainly it will be logistically very damaging, to try and use all of that in the first week and then to have all our vaccinators standing around with nothing to do for another month.”

“The system we would have would not be in a position to then go on doing the job we need to do over the weeks ahead.”

“The sensible thing to do is to use the vaccine you’ve got over the period that you’ve got it for so that your system can absorb it, it can go on working and you don’t have people standing around with nothing to do.”

In a series of Tweets this afternoon the Welsh government said:

“As of 10pm last night, 151,737 people have had their first dose of the vaccine – 5% of the population.

More people are being vaccinated every week.

A huge amount of work is going on to make vaccines available as quickly and safely as possible.

We’re on course to offer vaccines to all frontline health and care workers, everyone living and working in care homes, and everyone over 70 by mid-February.

By spring, we’ll vaccinate all over 50s and everyone at risk due to a health condition.”

“Every dose wasted is a vaccine which cannot be given to someone in Wales.

Less than 1% of the vaccines have not been used.

This is way below the wastage rates normally seen for vaccines.”

Dr Bailey said: “For the First Minister to say that there is ‘no point’ in using all the supplies in a week to ensure vaccinators aren’t standing around with nothing to do is truly bewildering.

“Frontline staff are risking their lives to help others – the priority must be to get the second dose administered to those who have received the first, and to accelerate first doses for all remaining vaccinations to ensure maximum protection for staff and patients.

“We are asking Welsh Government to stop sitting on supplies and get on with it.”

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