Covid-19 vaccine roll-out begins in Wales

The first COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled-out across Wales from today (Tuesday 8 December 2020), the Welsh Government has confirmed.

Wales was the first country in the world to receive supplies of the vaccine last week, and has today become one of the first to begin protecting people against coronavirus.

The Welsh Government and NHS have been preparing for today since June.

The start of the vaccination programme comes just days after the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the first Covid-19 vaccine for use in the UK, confirming its safety and effectiveness for mass vaccination centre use, based on a detailed independent expert review of the results of largescale clinical trials.

Some 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be available across the UK, with Wales getting its allocation based on its population. In the first wave of vaccine deliveries, Wales will receive almost 40,000 doses, enough for nearly 20,000 people.

All health boards will start administering vaccines to care home staff, those over 80 years and frontline health and social care workers most at risk – over 6000 doses will be given by the end of this week.

Despite the specific storage and preparation challenges posed by the vaccine, work continues to ensure a safe deployment of effective vaccine to care home residents.

Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths MS said: “Today is a pivotal moment in our fight against coronavirus, with the first vaccines arriving in Wrexham and starting to be administered nationwide.

“After such a difficult and challenging year, this positive news provides people with hope.

“There is still a long way to go before the full effects are felt nationally but the rollout of the vaccination programme is an important step on the road to recovery.”

The effects of the vaccine may not be seen for many months and the advice about keeping Wales safe remains in place:

  • Keep contacts with other people to a minimum;
  • Keep a 2 metre distance from others;
  • Wash your hands regularly;
  • Wear a face covering where required, and;
  • Avoid touching surfaces others have touched, wherever possible.

The vaccine – which needs to be administered in two doses – will initially be prioritised and available for people aged 80 and over, care home staff and residents and those working within front line health and social care services at greatest risk.