Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services
We have achieved our first milestone of offering everyone in the first four priority groups vaccination by mid-February. We are now making progress in achieving our next milestone, which is to offer the vaccine to all individuals in priority groups 5 to 9.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out that people with a severe/profound learning disability and individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or any mental illness that causes severe functional impairment, should be invited for vaccination as part of priority group 6.
There are challenges with identifying individuals within these groups, particularly given the JCVI language is not generally in use in Wales, and we are working hard to make sure that no one is left behind. Today we have published guidance on identifying eligible individuals in these groups and on how to support them to take up their vaccine offers.
The JCVI has also said that some of our invaluable unpaid carers should be included in priority group 6. Today we have also published guidance on identifying those unpaid carers eligible for vaccine prioritisation and the process around this. I am grateful to the national carers’ organisations for their support with this work.