Everything you need to know about the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Wales

Credit: PA

Welsh doctors and care workers have become some of the first people in the world to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, as administration started across Wales and the rest of the UK.

Every health board in Wales began administering the vaccine on 8 December - dubbed 'V-Day' - making it one of the first countries to start protecting people against the virus.

It comes less than a week after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for use in the UK.

The Welsh Government has said more than 6,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine will be given to people in Wales by the end of the first week.

But how and when will you be able to get the vaccine?

Vaccines are among the most 'scrutinised' medical interventions in the world. Credit: PA
  • How many doses will be available in Wales?

The UK has ordered 40 million doses - enough to vaccinate 20 million people, with two shots each and it is understood that around 10 million doses should be available across the UK.

Wales will get its allocation based on population, which works out at 4.8 per cent of the 40 million.

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has stressed that there will only be ''relatively small amounts'' of the vaccine at first. The first batch the UK is expecting to receive will be 800,000 doses, translating to 40,000 for Wales.

Two doses are needed per person, meaning just under 20,000 people can be vaccinated in Wales in the first round of this vaccine.

Health minister Vaughan Gething said "millions" of doses are expected to arrive later this month.

A further announcement around the timetable for rollout in Wales is expected. Credit: PA
  • When will it be available in Wales?

The first people in Wales received the vaccine on 8 December, as administration began across all four UK nations.

A further announcement around the timetable for rollout in Wales is expected.

Wales' Chief Medical Officer emphasised that it would be "well into next year" before most of the population had access to the vaccine.

  • Who will get the vaccine?

The vaccine will initially be prioritised for the most vulnerable or on the frontline, meaning those working in health and social care, aged over 80 or those working or living in a care home.

They will be invited to designated centres to get immunised as the vaccine needs to be stored at around -70℃ and used on site.

Vaughan Gething confirmed last week that the Welsh Government is following Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice on who should be prioritised first. Care home residents and vulnerable people are at the top of that list.

The next group are people over the age of 80 and frontline staff and health and social care.

However, Mr Gething said: "Because of the particular characteristics of the Pfizer vaccine, we don't think we're going to safely take it to care homes.

"In practical terms, some care home residents therefore won't be within the first few weeks of delivery of that vaccine."

He added that they are "not clear on how to deliver the vaccine" to care home residents but they will "get some protection", as care home staff can travel to a centre to be vaccinated.

As further supplies become available, other groups will be offered the vaccine, based on risk of serious complications and deaths.

They will receive an invitation from their employer or health board through NHS systems. People are urged to wait for an invitation and not ask their pharmacist or GP.

  • How did people react to the vaccine's rollout?

A critical care consultant has warned that the vaccine is "just the first step", and not an excuse to break coronavirus rules. She received her first dose of the vaccine this morning.

Dr Ami Jones, who works for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, received her first dose of the vaccine on Tuesday morning.

She said: "This is a very long and dark tunnel we're trying to get to the end of and this is just the first step.

"People have got to keep their guard up. That's going to be difficult with Christmas, but if we don't keep our guard up and obey the rules, we're really going to pay for it in January."

Vaughan Gething said the vaccine's development in less than a year was a "remarkable tribute" to scientists around the world, and said he would be getting it when he could.

"Vaccines can take many years, even decades, to develop," he said.

"We will now do everything we can to ensure we successfully deliver the Covid-19 vaccine across Wales in the days, weeks and months ahead."