Covid-19 vaccine rollout gathers pace in Wrexham and North Wales

Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths, has met with the Chair of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) today to be updated on the progress of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Wrexham and across the region.

The latest figures show, as of yesterday, the North Wales Health Board administered more vaccinations than any other Health Board in the country.

Health Boards are responsible for managing the rollout and BCUHB is confident of their supply of both the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines for the next four weeks.

As a result, a programme of delivery is being prepared and Ms Griffiths has been assured she will have sight of the plan early next week.

It is vital the Health Board is aware of the amount of vaccine it will be receiving in order for the rollout to be planned and delivered successfully, safely and with minimal wastage.

Lesley Griffiths MS said: “Many constituents have contacted me regarding the progress of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Wrexham so I am grateful to the Health Board for providing me with this latest information.

“I was pleased to discover, as of yesterday, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board had administered more vaccinations than any other Health Board in Wales.  In Wrexham, I am aware some General Practitioners have already started to vaccinate the over 80s.

“I understand this is a stressful time but people must remember this is the largest vaccination programme our country has ever undertaken.  It is a major operation that only commenced one month ago and it will clearly take time to vaccinate everyone in the priority groups.”

Earlier this week, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board stated it will be using a combination of vaccination centres, doctors surgeries, mobile immunisation teams and the military to increase the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in the coming days and weeks.

The approval of the second vaccine – the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine – at the end of December is seen as gamechanger.  As it can be stored at normal fridge temperatures, it is easier to transport, meaning supplies can be delivered much more quickly and stored in settings such as care homes and GP surgeries.

The Oxford vaccine rollout started at the beginning of this week, with BCUHB receiving 5,000 doses to immunise care home staff and residents, as well as hospital inpatients and those over the age of 80.

Moving forward, the intention is that a large number of the over 80s will be vaccinated via Local Vaccination Centres (LVCs).  A network will be set up across the region, two of which will be located in the Wrexham County Borough area.

Lesley Griffiths MS added: “Throughout the pandemic, it has been difficult to plan too far ahead with the situation often changing frequently and rapidly.

“I am aware, however, people want and deserve to be kept informed of the latest developments.  It has been confirmed health boards and local authorities will be writing to everyone in Wales about the Covid-19 vaccine in the coming days, and everyone in the priority groups will be invited to attend a clinic for an appointment.

“I hope the Health Board’s delivery plan, due to be revealed early next week, will outline the next steps and give people greater peace of mind.  As always, I will continue to keep constituents in Wrexham up-to-date with the latest information and work to ensure the town and North Wales receives its fair share of supplies.”