Health Minister Vaughan Gething has come under fire as new figures released by Public Health Wales today confirmed that just 23.9% of people aged 80 or over have received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Earlier this week Mr Gething said he expects 70% of all care home residents and the over 80’s to have been offered a coronavirus vaccine by the weekend and said rollout across the country is on target to offer a jab to the top four priority groups by the middle of February.
Today’s figures confirm 190,435 people have received a first dose in Wales since the programme started in the second week of December but of those just under 44,000 are 80 and over.
Just over 16,600 care home residents have also had the jab so far, 56.4% of the total and 20,000 care home workers have been inoculated, 67.5% of that priority group.
Conservative Shadow Health Minister Andrew RT Davies has demanded Mr Gething urgently clarifies comments made in the Senedd on Tuesday when, in response to a question from Mr Davies, the minister said his current understanding was that the vaccine had been offered “for the majority of our over-80s population.”
“The huge difference between the Minister’s claim on Tuesday and the statistics published today by Public Health Wales is very concerning and shows a Minister that is not across important detail,” Mr Davies said.
“At this time, it’s vital Labour ministers provide accurate information to the people of Wales, particularly in relation to the vaccine programme, and the Senedd nor the public should be misled.
“Many concerns have been raised by the public regarding the rollout and communication from the Welsh Labour Government and this once again this emphasises the importance of appointing an individual whose sole focus is on the vaccine rollout in Wales.
“The Health Minister must make an urgent statement to clarify the number of over 80s that have received a vaccine in Wales and if necessary, correct the record.”
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Health, Rhun ap Iorwerth said the government faced “quite a task” to meet its target by Sunday.
“The Health Minister should explain if he thinks we’re still on track. Communication is key in building public trust,” Mr ap Iorwerth added.