Provides updated information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme up to 9 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.
Last Friday – 5 February – marked the 60th day of the vaccine programme and was also the day when the number of people to have received their first dose of the vaccine reached half a million. NHS Wales also broke the daily number of vaccinations recorded on two consecutive days on Friday and Saturday. More than 30,000 vaccines were administered on both days, with almost 34,000 vaccinations reported on Saturday alone – that’s almost 1% of the Welsh population vaccinated in 1 day.
Last week, not only were we vaccinating more people each day as a percentage of our population than any of the other UK nations, but we ranked third in the world – behind only the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
So far more than 600,000 people have received their first dose of the vaccine in Wales. That is 1 in 5 of the population and over 80% of those included within the first 4 priority groups. Over the last week, our teams vaccinated someone in Wales every four 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 vaccinations were being administered in 493 locations across Wales, including:
- 43 mass vaccination centres
- 400 general practice locations
- 38 hospital locations
- there were 12 mobile teams operating
Last week we delivered more doses of vaccine to health boards than any other week – approximately 210,000 doses.
It was also agreed last week that an additional 90 military personnel will be deployed in Wales over the coming weeks. 20 of these are registrants and 70 will be supporting centres with general duties.
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 2 was to have offered the vaccine to all older person care home residents and staff by the end of January. We confirmed last week that this had been achieved. Vaccinations will continue to be offered to older person care home residents and staff over the coming weeks as homes become safe for vaccination teams to visit. So far, around 80% of residents and staff have received their first dose. This is what we had wanted to achieve in terms of uptake.
Marker 3 was to have 250 GP practices deploying the vaccine by the end of January. This was achieved and exceeded ahead of the target date for the marker.
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
Over 80% 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.
As noted above, last week we ranked third in the world on daily vaccinations administered as a percentage of our population. We were running at double the rate of the USA.
On Saturday, we had vaccinated 17.7% of the Welsh population; compared to 17.5% in England, 15.3% in Northern Ireland and 14.4% in Scotland.
We are moving through the priority cohorts and are on track to deliver against Milestone 1 by the middle of February. We will say more about this next week.
This week we have also seen good news about the vaccinations:
- the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency released research demonstrating that the current vaccines are “extremely safe”, with only mild expected side effects
- a study on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine suggests that:
- it could lead to a substantial fall in the spread of the virus
- protection remained at 76% during the first three months, and rose to 82% after the second dose
Public Health Wales is publishing daily and weekly surveillance data releases.
Welsh Government statisticians are also publishing some of the more operational statistics attached to the programme each week.