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Everyone eligible to be vaccinated in Wales will get the jab by 31 July says Health Minister

24 Feb 2021 3 minutes Read
Vaughan Gething speaking at a Coronavirus briefing.

Everyone eligible to be vaccinated in Wales will get the jab by 31 July, Wales’ Health Minister has said.

Vaughan Gething said however that meeting the target would depend on the supply of the vaccine continuing to keep up with their ability to administer it.

He said they were waiting for JCVI advice for how to priorities people under 50 years old, and hadn’t decided whether to prioritise people by age or job or health circumstances.

“Our vaccine and testing programmes are key to safely re-opening up our society and economy,” Vaughan Gething said.

“Our vaccine programme continues at pace and on Friday I’m publishing a revised vaccine strategy with detail on how we will, subject to supply, offer every eligible adult in Wales the first dose of the vaccine by the end of July.”

He also said that everyone over the age of 50 would be jabbed by mid-April.

“That is everyone aged 50 to 69, everyone aged over 16 with an underlying health condition that puts them at increased risk of serious illness with coronavirus, and many of our invaluable unpaid carers who provide care for someone who is clinically vulnerable to the virus,” he said.

“Subject to vaccine supply, we will have reached all these people by the middle of April.”

‘Revised plans’

Workplace and community testing will also be expanded. The scheme for workplaces to carry out testing and set up their own test sites is now being extended to public and private organisations with more than 50 employees.

“Workplaces with more than 50 employees will now be eligible for support to regularly test their workforce, helping reduce the spread of the virus and allow them to operate safely,” Vaughan Gething said.

“And from next week targeted community testing will begin in parts of Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf. This will help find those who show no symptoms of coronavirus.

“We have already set out our revised plans for the careful and cautious re-opening of Wales’ society and economy. The measures announced today will play an important part in achieving that as safely and quickly as possible.”

Data

The support available to workplaces in Wales to introduce a testing scheme includes the provision of rapid lateral flow devices, training, access to an online testing portal and clinical standard operating procedures and guidelines.

The community testing programme will use Lateral Flow Devices. Everyone who attends will be given a test using the devices, which can turnaround results within 20 -30 minutes. Anyone who tests positive via a LFD test will be asked to return home so they can self-isolate immediately and arrangements will be made for a follow-up PCR test.

Although community testing will initially be available in three local authorities, further discussions are taking place with partners in the north of Wales and it could be rolled-out more widely based on local circumstance and need identified.

The latest data shows that 869,653 people have now received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while 49,729 people have now received both doses of the vaccine.

A further 13 people have died with coronavirus in Wales today, taking the total number of Covid-related deaths reported by Public Health Wales to 5,263.

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