Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services
Since last week there have been significant steps forward in our COVID-19 Vaccination programme. On Friday I confirmed that we reached Milestone 3 as more than 75% of adults aged under-50 in Wales have had their first dose, and JCVI have issued interim advice for autumn boosters I will publish our COVID-19 vaccination programme weekly update today.
Today, I also wanted to provide an update in relation to Covid certification and on the latest position with the expected JCVI interim advice.
We are working with partners to provide a service that will produce a COVID-19 vaccination status statement. This will allow residents in Wales to evidence their COVID-19 vaccination history.
The NHS COVID Pass allows you to show others that you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine when travelling abroad. NHS Digital is working with NHS Wales to put in place data sharing arrangements between Wales and England. All people vaccinated in Wales or England who are registered with a GP in Wales can already obtain their digital COVID pass through the NHS website from 23 June 2021. All people registered with a GP in England but vaccinated in Wales will be able to evidence their COVID Vaccination data through the NHS website from Monday 12 July.
All AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS COVID Pass as Vaxzevria. The European Medicines Agency has authorised this vaccine and we are confident travel will not be affected. All doses used in the UK have been subject to rigorous safety and quality checks, including individual batch testing and physical site inspections, by the medicine’s regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
JCVI Interim advice
The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation has published interim advice as we move into a new phase of the COVID-19 Vaccination programme. This provides us with a welcome steer for the next stage of deployment and a level of certainty to plan for an autumn booster vaccination campaign.
This is interim advice and the JCVI will consider additional scientific data as it becomes available over the next few months ahead of developing their final advice.
NHS Wales has been planning on the assumption of a September/October booster for cohorts 1-9, with around a 6 month gap following a second dose and health boards have submitted their initial plans on this basis. We will be working with health boards to ensure they are ready to deliver a booster programme from the start of September in line with the JCVI’s advice.
I will update further on the position with the vaccination of children and young people once the JCVI has published its interim advice.
Finally, I would like to emphasise that the vaccine is a vital step in our way out of the pandemic and keeping Wales safe. That is why we are making it as easy as possible for people to get their vaccine, particularly younger adults who have other demands on their time. Vaccination centres across many parts of Wales are now open for walk-in appointments. We are continuing to work to make sure that no one is left behind in Wales and all those are eligible for a vaccine comes forward. If anyone thinks they have been missed, or have not yet received your offer of vaccination for whatever reason, they can find out who to contact here. It is never too late to arrange an appointment or attend a walk-in appointment.