Wales to meet its next vaccine target early with all over-50s offered the jab, Mark Drakeford says
Wales will meet the next vaccine target early, with everyone in priority groups 1-9 in Wales receiving an offer for a Covid-19 jab by the end of the week.
The top nine groups include all those 50 years of age and over.
He said that more than 57% of adults in Wales had now had one dose of a coronavirus jab and take-up is excellent.
“Today, Wales has the lowest level of Coronavirus of all four UK Nations and the highest rates of vaccination. These are the reasons for us all to be hopeful,” Mark Drakeford said.
Despite the improving situation, the First Minister pointed to the continent where rising cases had forced further lockdowns.
He said the virus was “fast-moving and unpredictable” and any further easing depended on case staying low.
“We all need to remember that the pandemic isn’t over – it’s more important than ever that we work together to keep this terrible virus under control so we can carry on unlocking Wales,” he said.
“Provided cases continue to fall, even gradually, that will allow us to do what we have set out today. ”
He said that those who had been drinking outside the Senedd had shown a “disregard for the rules that keeps them and other people safe”. They should not be “indulged” by opening the pubs earlier, he said.
He was asked whether he should move outdoor hospitality forward to take account of outdoor pubs opening in England.
“I cannot imagine why anybody with regard for their own safety or that of their friends or family will want to put themselves in harm’s way,” he said.
He said anyone who travelled in that direction would take the Bristol variant of the virus into account and people should “think very carefully”.
“That’s the calculation I know most people will be making in Wales and making it in a very careful way,” he said.
Wales’ Chief Medical Officer Dr. Frank Atheron said that unlocking too quickly was a “bigger harm” than encouraging cross border travel.