Provides updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme up to 16 November 2021.
Our COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy for Wales was published on 11 January 2021 and together with the below updates, sets out the detail of the Vaccination Programme in Wales.
What’s new since the last update?
There have been two announcements from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which our NHS will work quickly to put into action.
Firstly, following discussion and consideration of the evidence, the JCVI has recommended that a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to young people aged 16–17 year olds, who are not in an ‘at-risk’ group.
The JCVI looked at the key benefits and risks of offering a second dose to 16-17 year olds and found that a second dose offered more durable protection against COVID-19 and further reduced the risk of infection and serious illness, hospitalisation and intensive care unit admission. These benefits were balanced against data showing the rare incidence of adverse events following vaccination in young people.
The JCVI recommended that the second vaccine dose should be given 12 weeks or more following their first dose. For those young people who have had a COVID-19 infection at any time after having their first dose, they should be given the second vaccine dose 12 weeks or more following the COVID-19 infection.
We will ensure there is a range of information sources available for young people to make an informed choice about vaccination.
Secondly, the JCVI has considered if the booster roll-out should be extended to include further cohorts who are under 50 and not in an ‘at-risk’ group. Based on the current available evidence, the JCVI has recommended that a COVID-19 booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to those aged 40-49 years old, at 6 months or more following their second dose.
They will make a further decision on whether to offer a COVID-19 booster dose to those aged 18-39 at a later date, pending further evidence on vaccine waning in this group. As most younger adults will have received their second dose in late summer or early autumn, they will still have a high level of protection.
There is no need to contact the NHS or health services to check if you have an appointment, you will automatically receive an invitation to attend a vaccination appointment for your second dose or a booster when it is your turn.
Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccination?
Vaccines have both direct effects benefiting those who are vaccinated and indirect effects benefiting the wider population. As more people are vaccinated we reduce the probability that people will come into contact with someone who is infected.
It is true that some people may get COVID-19 despite having the vaccination, but the infection will be less severe. The vaccination will help protect you from severe disease, hospitalisation and death.
Even if you’ve had COVID-19 you should still get vaccinated. We do not yet know the length of immune response in those who’ve had the disease, but research indicates that waning of immunity is sooner following infection, than in those who have been vaccinated.
When you have the COVID-19 vaccine, you will be contributing to efforts to reduce the number of deaths and hospitalisations. Several studies of vaccine effectiveness have been conducted in the UK which indicate that two doses of vaccine are up to 95% effective at preventing severe disease including from the Delta variant, with higher levels of protection against severe disease, hospitalisation and death.
COVID-19 vaccination status
From the 11 October, the COVID Pass is compulsory for everyone attending:
- nightclubs and similar venues
- indoor non-seated events for more than 500 people. This would include conventions and concerts
- outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people
- any setting or event for more than 10,000 people, such as a rugby or football match
From Monday 15 November, the COVID Pass will also be needed to attend
- concert halls
The COVID Pass confirms your vaccination status or that you have had a negative lateral flow test result within the past 48 hours. If you are registered with a GP in the UK, were vaccinated in Wales or England and are aged 16 or over, you can get a digital NHS COVID Pass.
Guidance to stakeholders can be found using the following link: https://gov.wales/covid-pass-guidance-businesses-and-events-html#section-81928
Further information and guidance will be made available by the Welsh Government in the near future. The current guidance on accessing the COVID Pass can be found at: https://gov.wales/get-nhs-covid-pass-show-your-vaccination-status-travel
Who is currently getting vaccinated?
We are administering vaccination as follows:
- First doses for everyone aged 12 and over so that no one is left behind
- Second doses for all those who are eligible, now including invitations for 16 and 17 year olds
- Third primary dose for the severely immunosuppressed
- Booster doses for those who are eligible
As we continue to operate on the principle of no one left behind, the NHS continues to go back and offer those who have not taken up their offer yet.
Summary of our overall progress:
- In total more than 5.38 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Wales
- More than 2.45 million people have had a first dose and more than 2.25 million people have received their full course of vaccine
- More than 36,000 people who are severely immunosuppressed have received their third primary dose
- 78.4% of adults aged 18 to 29 and 78.9% of adults aged 30 to 39 have received their first dose
- 75.5% of 16 and 17 year olds have received their initial dose and 50% of 12 to 15 year olds have received a first dose
- More than 637,000 people have received a booster
- 76% of care home residents, 60.1% of care home staff and 73.7% of adults aged over 80 have received their booster dose
The vaccine continues to be the best way to prevent serious illness and the spread of COVID-19 and everyone is urged to take-up their offer of a vaccine.
There is further information about the COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy available here: COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy - Public Health Wales
A range of information on our vaccination programme is available on our website, including guidance published relating to the priority groups.
Welsh Government statisticians are also publishing some of the more operational statistics attached to the programme each week.