Plans to start vaccinating people in Wales from Tuesday
Wales will receive the first supplies of the new Covid-19 vaccine the next couple of days and plans to start vaccinating people from Tuesday, the First Minister has said.
Elderly care home residents, followed by the over 80s and NHS front-line staff, will get the vaccine first.
Wales will get an allocation based on population of 40m doses of the the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – enough to vaccinate 20m people.
“Our plans in Wales have been thoroughly tested,” he told a press conference.
“We expect to receive the first supplies in the next couple of days. We have trained staff to give the new vaccine.
“We hope this marks a turning point in the pandemic and will put us on what is going to be a long path back to normality.”
The First Minister also defended stopping pubs from selling alcohol and forcing them to close by 6pm from tonight, saying Wales was under the equivalent of Tier 3 restrictions in England.
“I want to be clear that if we were in another part of the UK, our coronavirus situation would mean we would be subject to the English Tier 3 regime or Level 3 restrictions in Scotland,” he said.
“It is my responsibility to do whatever is needed to protect the lives of people in Wales. Your government will always discharge its duties on your behalf.”
Drakeford said that Wales was “now experiencing an unmistakeable rise in coronavirus once again”.
He added that the last week had seen a record number of coronavirus-related patients in hospital.
“Coronavirus is putting our health service under significant and sustained pressure,” he said.