Provides updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme up to 5 October 2021.
Our National Vaccination Strategy was published on 11 January and is based on the detailed planning NHS Wales had been doing. Our strategy is focused on 3 key areas:
- Our priorities – we continue to work closely with the UK Government on supply. Based on what we know about supply and the priority cohorts set by the JCVI, we have set key milestones.
- Our vaccination infrastructure - making sure that people can access their vaccination offer - the places to go to get vaccinated, people to give the vaccination and the appointment and digital recording and reporting system set up.
- Keeping up to date and informed about the vaccination programme - we are committed to providing information to keep everyone in Wales updated about the vaccination programme.
An update to our National Strategy was published on 26 February 2021 to reflect on progress and provide further information about our current and future priorities.
What’s new since the last update?
All health boards begun vaccinating children and young people aged 12-15. There are just under 145,000 12-15 year olds in Wales and we aim to have offered the vaccine to them all by the end of half term week, with the majority of those who come forward vaccinated in October.
People can choose whether to have the vaccine or not and appropriate information is available for children and young people and their parents to make up their minds about vaccination. Parents or guardians will be asked to give consent and parents, guardians, children and young people are encouraged to discuss together whether or not to have the vaccination.
In the small number of situations where young people and parents are not agreed about the benefits of the vaccine, we would follow the law and best practice on respecting children’s rights and parental responsibility. This might include individual clinical discussions and documentation of Gillick competence, as appropriate, which is standard practice in other vaccine administration.
The Gillick test provides that if a child under the age of 16 has sufficient understanding and intelligence to understand what is being proposed, care and treatment can be provided without parental consent.
Hywel Dda University Health Board appointment letters. Some people in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area recently received appointment letters for the COVID-19 booster and the first dose for 12-15 year olds which asked them to attend a vaccination centre that isn’t local to where they live. Hywel Dda UHB have confirmed that, provided you have received an appointment letter, you can go to your nearest vaccination centre at a time that is convenient for you, this may not be the location on the letter.
Hywel Dda UHB have also confirmed there is no need to contact them to rearrange these appointments and have apologised for any confusion or distress this may have caused. There is a list of vaccination centres on their website. Letters issued from this week onward should not be affected.
Last week public Health Wales published their eighth report on equality in coverage of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The report shows that coverage of vaccination continues to increase slowly in all reported socioeconomic and ethnic groups, and has levelled off for first dose in older age groups.
The largest inequality between ethnic groups is in adults aged 30 to 39 years. The largest inequality in coverage between those living in the most deprived and least deprived areas of Wales is in young people aged 16-17. This age group became eligible for vaccination in the summer. Together with our health boards and a wide range of partners, we are encouraging vaccine take-up by making it as easy as possible to get a vaccine by offering a flexible service according to local circumstances. Mass vaccination centres throughout Wales offer extended hours at evenings and are open at weekends. Transport or travel initiatives are in place in many areas. Outreach services, pop up clinics and mobile services are taking the vaccine to communities who may otherwise not take up their offer. Also, with partner support, vaccine clinics are held in familiar settings such as faith, cultural and community centres.
No one left behind is a key principle to our vaccination programme. The COVID-19 vaccination programme in Wales is open to everyone identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation as eligible. Our NHS will continue to loop back alongside the booster campaign to offer the vaccine to those who have not had it yet.
COVID-19 vaccination status
Legislation has been laid in the Senedd and will be voted on and debated on the 5 October. If passed the COVID Pass would be 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
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.
Subject to legislation, the mandatory scheme will start in Wales on the 11 October. However, you are already able to access your pass using the NHS digital system which will allow you to produce a COVID Pass using a smart phone, a computer or laptop. You can access your pass using the following link https://covid-status.service.nhsx.nhs.uk/
Further information and guidance will be made available by the Welsh Government in the near future.
Who is currently getting vaccinated?
As we continue to operate on the principle of no one left behind, the NHS continues to go back and offer those in priority groups 1-9 who, for various reason, have not yet taken up their offer.
That means, we are now administering vaccination as follows:
- First doses for remaining adults aged 18 and over so that no one is left behind
- Initial dose for young people aged 16 and 17
- First doses for children aged 12 to 15
- Second doses for all those who are eligible
- Third primary dose for the immunosuppressed
- Booster doses for the most vulnerable
Summary of our overall progress:
- In total more than 4.6 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Wales
- High take up of both first and second doses in priority groups 1-4, protecting our most vulnerable
- More than 2.38 million people have had a first dose and more than 2.22 million people have received their full course of vaccine
- 77% of adults aged 18-29 and 78% of adults aged 30-39 have received their first dose
- 71% of 16 and 17 year olds have received their initial dose
- Invitations will go out to all children and young people aged 12 to 15 by the end of October half term
- Booster programme underway to protect the most vulnerable
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.
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.