By Dominic Williams | News Editor
As the Vaccination programme across the UK, continues to roll out in Wales 82.1% of care home workers have received at least one vaccine dose. Another priority group that has seen the vaccine is healthcare workers. 112,763 of them so far have had the first dose of the vaccine.
With this information, more than 630,000 people in the top priority groups have been given their first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Wales. The results mean that now 19.9% of the Welsh population are now vaccinated.
Although the Welsh government has had its fair share of criticism due to the slow roll out of the vaccine compared to elsewhere in the UK.
Betsi Cadwaladr care home was first selected to receive the vaccine, and with the help of additional health boards took the vaccine so various care homes in Cardiff.
Dr. Gill Richardson, Chair of Wales’ COVID-19 vaccine programme, said: ‘’ The delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine to care home staff and residents has always been a priority for the Welsh Government. We have been working for months to meet the challenges of distribution.’’
The Welsh government outlined a few ‘markers,’ in relation to the distribution of vaccines to care homes. Marker 2 was to have offered the vaccine to all older person care home residents and staff by the end of January. The government was aiming to reach all those care homes that it was possible to reach; and to make sure plans were in place for those care homes that have had COVID-19 outbreaks and incidents to be reached as soon as possible.
For other care homes, GP practices are organising vaccination for residents, often via a district nurse or small team; with staff being invited to mass centres. This mixed model ensures the right approach for the right home given its context and location.
While Health boards have confirmed that they have visited all older person care homes that have been safe to send vaccine teams into. For those care homes that it has not been safe, visits are planned during February when it is safe, and public health advice allows.
Wales’ have set a aim to ensure under 750,000 people including health workers and people aged over 70 get the first dose by mid-February.