Jump in vaccination numbers puts Welsh Government back on course to hit targets

Covid vaccination. Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash

21,882 vaccinations were given out in Wales yesterday, putting the Welsh Government back on course to hit their targets if the numbers are maintained until mid-February.

528,033 people in the top four priority groups remain to be vaccinated by the Feb 15th deadline set by the Welsh Government, which is 21,121 a day.

The Welsh Government had looked set to miss their target with only 14,619 doses administrated yesterday, itself an improvement from around 5,000 a day in early January.

Opposition parties have expressed doubts about whether the Welsh Government will hit its targets.

At his press conference today Mark Drakeford again responded to criticism of his comments to Radio 4 Today at the start of this week in which he suggested that vaccines were being rolled out slowly deliberatly.

“Let me be clear again today, vaccination is the top priority for the Welsh Government and for the Welsh NHS,” he said.

“Our ambition is to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible and as safely as possible using every drop of vaccine that we have and every individual we have capable of delivering the vaccine.”

He also said that he was confident of hitting the target of 70% of over 80s offered vaccination by the end of the week: “Ministers every day see information, operational data that comes in from the health service more or less in real-time.

“The statistics that are published every day have a lag in them. They have to be collected formally from the health service, they have to be interrogated, they have to be quality assured and then they are published as formal figures. ”

 

‘Concerned’

Welsh Conservative Older People’s Champion Janet Finch-Saunders MS said earlier that she was alarmed at the revelation that just under a quarter of over 80s in Wales have been given their first dose of Coronavirus vaccine.

Figures from Public Health Wales show that there has been 43,879 doses – which is 23.9% of this priority group for the Covid-19 jab. Mrs Finch-Saunders is calling on the Welsh Health Minister to urgently clarify comments made in the Senedd earlier this week, when he claimed that “we have already managed to do so for the majority of our over-80s population”.

“I am incredibly concerned by this latest statistical blunder by the Welsh Health Minister, which can only suggest that he is failing to keep a grip on these essential details,” she said.

“Mr Gething must now make an urgent statement to clarify these numbers and, if necessary, correct the Senedd record

“Since the early days of the pandemic we have known that those aged 70 or older, regardless of medical conditions, are at increased risk from COVID-19. It is essential that this vulnerable group is urgently prioritised, with the Covid vaccination roll-out sustained at pace.

“The anxiety and fear felt by many individuals in this age bracket, both in my constituency of Aberconwy and beyond, is palpable. This is partly due to the chaotic and misleading communications that they have received from Cardiff Bay which must be corrected through a sensible handling of the statistics.

“I have long said that our single biggest weapon providing assurance to our most vulnerable constituents is a quick vaccination process. The continued bluster from the Welsh Government once again highlights the importance of appointing an individual whose sole focus is on the vaccine rollout in Wales.”

 

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