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Call for Welsh Government to reveal plans for third booster vaccination rollout in Wales

27 Aug 2021 4 minutes Read
A woman receives the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Pontcae Medical Practice on January 4, 2021 in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.

There have been calls for the Welsh Government to reveal plans of how a third, booster vaccination will be rolled out in Wales, after Mark Drakeford confirmed that no additional Covid restrictions will be imposed in the next three weeks.

The number of cases of Covid in Wales has climbed rapidly over the past weeks, a pattern that is expected to continue as children and young people begin their return to school next week.

Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader Sian Gwenllian MS has called for more detail from Welsh Government on their vaccination plan, including how a potential third dose would be rolled out across Wales.

She also said that an update was needed on whether the Welsh Government planned to vaccinate young people.

The latest figures from Public Health Wales indicate that just over half of 16 and 17 year olds have received a first dose, and just 10% have received a second dose.

“All through the pandemic we’ve highlighted the importance of good, clear communication from Welsh Government,” Sian Gwenllian said.

“Now, at a time when cases are again on the rise, its vitally important that Welsh Government is upfront about what the data is telling them – specifically on how the vaccination programme has impacted on the number of people requiring hospital treatment from COVID.

“People are also keen to find out whether the government has made plans for a third vaccine dose – with talk that immunity may decrease over time, it’s important that government can reassure us that it has a plan should a third dose be required.

“That this rise in cases is happening the week before pupils return to school is an additional cause for concern. We need reassurance there’s increased focus on monitoring the spread of the virus in children and young people, especially as only half of 16 and 17 years olds have received a first dose of the vaccine.

“We can’t allow the virus to spread freely amongst our children and young people, especially with emerging evidence about the impact of long-COVID on this age group.”

‘Progress’

Three weeks ago Wales moved to Alert Level Zero, and this removed legal restrictions on meeting others and enabled all businesses to open, while also keeping key legal protections in place.

Face coverings are still mandatory in most public settings, everyone must continue to isolate if they have Covid-19 symptoms or a positive test result, and businesses must take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

People are being urged to continue to take precautions to protect themselves and others and to stop the virus spreading. Cases have continued to increase and earlier this week the case rate passed 320 cases per 100,000 people.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Over the last 18 months people have worked together to keep Wales safe. The need to do this is as strong as it has ever been.

“The number of cases is increasing and the public health position is worse than it was three weeks ago, when we moved into Alert Level Zero. It’s vital we all keep taking precautions to ensure the progress we have won is not lost.

“Getting vaccinated remains one of the very best defences we have. If you haven’t already then please take up the offer and join more than 2.1 million people in Wales who’ve had a full course to protect themselves and to protect others.

“There are also everyday steps each of us can take to keep each other safe. This may be meeting others outdoors instead of indoors, or keeping our distance from others when out. If you are with people indoors then opening a window to let fresh air into the room will mean the virus is less likely to spread. We are still asking people to work from home wherever possible.

“Actions like these will help stop the need for any stronger measures. The pandemic is still with us and that means we have to get vaccinated and continue to take precautions to keep the virus under control.”

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