Every home in Wales to receive letter with specific Covid-19 vaccine plans
Letters about the Welsh Government’s COVID-19 vaccination plans will shortly begin to arrive at the front door of every household in Wales.
It comes as opposition politicians have put pressure on the Welsh Government to “ramp up” their plans to administer the vaccines.
The Health Board letters will be sent to every household in Wales over the next couple of weeks and will be issued by Local Authorities, on behalf of the Welsh Government.
It will provide information on the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccines currently available in Wales, how the vaccines are being made available and in what way people will be invited to an appointment.
People are being urged to wait their turn and not to contact NHS or health services to request a COVID-19 vaccine.
When they are invited for their vaccination, which could be at a hospital, a vaccination centre or their GP surgery, people will be advised where their vaccination will take place.
Each letter will be tailored to provide relevant information to communities on the services specific to the area.
“An enormous amount of work has gone into delivering what is the largest vaccination programme Wales has ever seen,” Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said.
“Our plans are ambitious but together with the NHS, we are working incredibly hard to make sure people get their jabs as quickly and safely as possible.
“Vaccinations are life-saving and, in this pandemic, it could be life changing for all of us. However, as we speed up the roll out of vaccines across Wales, it’s more important than ever that we follow the rules and keep ourselves safe. That means staying at home and working from home; keeping our distance from others; washing our hands often, and if we do have to go out, wearing a face mask when we’re in public places.”
The Welsh Conservatives yesterday raised questions related to the availability and administration of the Covid vaccine.
“I had hoped that, after the belated publication yesterday of the Covid vaccination strategy, that we would have a range of concrete answers and commitments from the First Minister on the rollout of the vaccine and the recruitment of retired clinicians to assist in its administration,” Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies said.
“There are scores of retired clinicians wanting to help, people who, to use Churchill’s famous line, are literally saying ‘Give us the tools, and we will finish the job’.
“Therefore give these people the tools they need, make the vaccines fully available without a postcode lottery becoming established, and ramp up the opening of vaccination centres to accelerate Wales’ vaccination programme.”
There are two phases of the vaccine roll-out and within the first phase, vaccines will be given according to age and risk of serious illness if someone catches coronavirus. The groups in this first phase – accounting for 1.5million people – represent around 99% of preventable deaths from coronavirus.
In the first five weeks since the first vaccines were administered in Wales, 91,239 people have now received their first dose. A second dose of the same brand is recommended within 12 weeks.
The Welsh Government hopes that every eligible adult in Wales will be offered a vaccination by the autumn, as set out in the Vaccination Strategy released earlier this week.
As well as the letters, the Welsh Government is also reinforcing its warnings about scams which ask people for their bank details or payment to receive a vaccine; no one will be asked to pay for a vaccine on the NHS. To help notice a scam, people should look out for misspellings and grammatical errors, as well as non-NHS web addresses asking for details.
They’re also warning against ‘vaccine calculators’ which claims to give a predicted date for when someone can expect to be vaccinated. In reality, these calculators harness personal details to make an estimate and are not endorsed by official organisations.