Provides updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme up to 2 February 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
Who is currently getting vaccinated?
Our priority list of people to receive the vaccine has been agreed by endorsing the UK’s independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The same priority list is being followed by all four nations in the UK and has the support of all 4 Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) within the UK.
Our current priority is to offer a first dose of the vaccine to priority groups 1–4. This will include all older person care home residents and staff; frontline health and social care staff; those 70 years of age and over; and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals. Subject to supply, we have said that it is our ambition to do this by mid-February.
So far almost 440,000 people have received their first dose of the vaccine in Wales. That is almost over 14% of the population and over 60% of those included within the first 4 priority groups. Over the last week, our teams vaccinated someone in Wales every five seconds.
Where are vaccinations taking place?
We have been building an infrastructure from the ground up. The delivery model is a blended model. This is aimed at providing a mix of sites in order to maximise speed of roll out, ensure safety, meet the needs of the characteristics of the vaccines, be as conveniently located as possible and, importantly make sure we give equitable access across the country and all communities. This model is also intended to get the vaccines into our older person care homes and to our older populations as soon as possible.
During the past week we have seen further expansion in our infrastructure, including:
- an increase in mass vaccination centres to 34, alongside the use of 17 acute and community hospital sites
- GP practices offering the vaccine increase to over 400, significantly exceeding the 250 practices by the end of January committed to in our Strategy and demonstrating the appetite of our primary care sector to support the vaccination programme
Additional military personnel are being deployed in Wales in the coming weeks and we will provide more information on this next week.
Achievement of markers and milestones
In our Strategy, we outlined 3 markers to deliver as part of our journey to achieving milestone 1 by mid-February:
Marker 1 was to have offered a first dose of the vaccine to all frontline Welsh Ambulance Trust staff by 18 January. This has been achieved.
Marker 3 was to have 250 GP practices deploying the vaccine by the end of January. This was achieved and exceeded ahead of the marker. Last week’s report confirmed that this marker had been achieved ahead of schedule, with over 300 practices running clinics. In the last week this number has increased again to over 400 practices.
The final marker – marker 2 – was to have offered the vaccine to all older person care home residents and staff by the end of January. Our aim was to reach all those care homes that it was possible to reach; and to make sure that plans were in place for those care homes that have had Covid-19 outbreaks and incidents to be reached as soon as possible.
Where are we against this maker?
We have achieved this marker.
As with our delivery model generally, a blended approach is in place for older person care homes. For some care homes, health boards are sending in vaccination teams to vaccinate both residents and staff. For other care homes, GP practices are organising vaccination for residents, often via a district nurse or small team; with staff being invited to mass centres. This mixed model ensures the right approach for the right home given its context and location.
Health boards have confirmed that they have visited all older person care homes that it has been safe to send vaccination teams into. For those homes that it has not been safe, visits are planned during February, as soon as the public health advice allows.
Upcoming markers and milestones
The next key point in our Strategy is Milestone 1. It is to have
- offered the vaccine to all individuals in cohorts 1–4 by mid February. That includes all older person care home residents and staff; frontline health and social care staff; those 70 years of age and over; and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.
60% of our first 4 priority groups have now received their first dose of the vaccine. Pace is continuing to increase and we are making strong progress.
The following chart shows that this week we have vaccinated more people as a percentage of our population than any of the other UK nations. We are moving through the priority cohorts and are on track to deliver against Milestone 1 by the middle of February.