Health minister unable to say if over-80s vaccination target has been reached

Health minister Vaughan Gething has said the Welsh Government should know 'in the next day or so' if its vaccination target for the over-eighties has been reached Credit: PA Images

Health minister Vaughan Gething has said the Welsh Government is unable to say whether its vaccination target for the over-eighties has been reached.

Last week, the Welsh Government said it was confident it would reach its target of vaccinating at least 70% of people in the over-80 age category by the close of the weekend.

On Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said it was likely the Welsh Government would know on Monday if the target had been achieved.

However, at Monday's press briefing Mr Gething said the Welsh Government had not yet received all the necessary data from vaccination centres and GP surgeries across Wales.

The Welsh Government set itself a target of vaccinating at least 70% of the over-80s by the close of the weekend Credit: PA Images

He said: "I know everyone here will want to know if we vaccinated 70% of people over 80 and in care homes by the weekend.

"We don’t have all the data back from the vaccination centres and GP practices around Wales to say whether we have reached the 70% figure.

"A massive amount of work was done last week and over the weekend. The number of people vaccinated increased every day as the week progressed."

Mr Gething went on to say that the Government would likely find out if the target had been reached on Tuesday or Wednesday.

He said: "We will know in the next day or so if we have reached 70%. We do know that more than 70% of care home workers have been vaccinated."

Mr Gething also said that, from Tuesday, the Welsh Government would begin publishing more information around the vaccination rollout.

"Starting tomorrow, we will publish information about the amount of vaccine received, the amount supplied and the amount of vaccines, which are not suitable for use in Wales, on a health board basis" he said.

"This will be updated every week and is in addition to the data which is published every day about the number of first and second doses which are being given."

Wales' coronavirus vaccination strategy has come in for criticism in recent weeks Credit: PA Images

There were a further 23 suspected coronavirus deaths and 872 new confirmed cases, Public Health Wales data published on Monday afternoon revealed.

PHW data also showed 270,833 people in Wales had received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine; 543 people had received their two-dose course.

The Health Minister received criticism last week and was accused of "misleading" people when he told Senedd members he believed the "majority" of over-80s had received their first vaccine dose.

Although it later emerged from Public Health Wales data that only around a quarter of the over-80s had been vaccinated.

Mr Gething apologised, saying he made an "innocent mistake".

The Welsh Government also responded by saying Public Health Wales provides a "snapshot" of data that "does not reflect the total".

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