Wales' Covid vaccine rollout falling further off target

People queue for vaccines in Wales, which is in Level four of its coronavirus restrictions, the highest level available, due to the surge in coronavirus cases. Credit: PA

Wales' vaccine programme is falling further off target despite the health minister saying the rollout is being delivered with "urgency."

The latest figures from Public Health Wales show, as of 10pm on Monday January 18, 161,932 people have received the first dose of the vaccine in Wales.

265 people have received the second dose so far.

Vaughan Gething has been forced to deny the Welsh Government is "hoarding the vaccine" after First Minister Mark Drakeford said administering jabs too quickly would leave "vaccinators standing around with nothing to do".

Cumulative number of people who have received the first dose of the vaccination in Wales (up to January 17th) Credit: Public Health England

What are the Welsh Governments vaccine targets?

The Welsh Government has said it wants to vaccinate around 700,000 people by mid-February.

That figure includes those people considered to be of the highest priority; all care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care staff, everyone over 70 and anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

The next target is that all over 50s will be vaccinated by spring, and all other age groups will get their jabs by the autumn.

The Welsh Government's target is to vaccinate all over 50s by spring

The targets for Wales are less ambitious than those set out by the UK Government for England.

The UK Government said it hopes everyone over the age of 18 will be offered the first dose of the Covid vaccine by September.

Daily number of people who have received the first dose of the vaccination in Wales (up to January 17th) Credit: Publich Health England

*Public Health Wales does not update figures on weekends and these are included the following Monday.

Is Wales on track to reach the targets?

The latest figures show an extra 10,195 people in Wales have received the first dose of the vaccine since the previous 24 hour period.

Not only is this well short of what is needed to hit the mid-February goal, it means Wales is falling further off target.

To reach the target for the highest priority groups, an average of more than 20,000 people will need to be vaccinated every day between now and mid-February.

Of the four nations of the UK, Wales is lagging behind in delivering the first dose of the vaccine per 100,000.

As of last week 3,215 had received it in Wales, compared with 3,514 in Scotland, 4,005 in England and 4,828 in Northern Ireland.

The first minister has called these differences "very marginal", however he has come under increased pressure to ramp up the rollout.

There are, however, some positive signs with the health minister having said 70% of care home residents and staff in Wales should have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of this week.

Mr Gething has said Wales is currently vaccinating almost 1,000 care home residents a day.

The government has also said all front line Welsh Ambulance Service staff have had their first dose.

There are now 28 vaccination centres operating in Wales and more than 100 GP practices are offering the vaccine.

A pharmacy in North Wales has also become the first to begin immunising on-site.

From Tuesday January 26 the Welsh Government will begin publishing data on vaccine supply and wastage.