One million people receive first dose of vaccine in Wales

One million people across Wales have had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, latest data shows.

Public Health Wales confirmed that 1,199,421 doses have now been given since the nation-wide vaccination programme began in December.

That figure means almost 40% of the adult population now have a level of protection from COVID-19.

It comes as Wales reports three Covid-deaths in the past 24 hours and a further 166 new cases of the virus.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said it was crucial that high levels of uptake are maintained in order to take steps closer to "brighter future and our new normal".

Following an anticipated dip in supplies over the past few weeks, Wales is shortly going to see a significant increase again.

Expected supplies should see the availability of around 200,000 vaccinations over the course of the next couple of weeks – with around 30,000 a day being administered.

At the end of February, Wales hit the key milestone of administering one million vaccines in total, including second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.

At the time, the Health Minister said reaching that milestone was a ''testament to the incredible hard-work and efforts of all those involved in Wales' vaccine roll-out.''

  • What's next?

The next key point in the government strategy is to offer the vaccine to everyone in priority groups 5-9 by the end of April. That includes:

  • everyone aged 50 to 69

  • everyone over 16 with an underlying health condition, which puts them at risk of serious illness

  • many unpaid carers who provide care for someone who is vulnerable to the virus

People with a severe and profound learning disabilities and individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or any mental illness that causes severe functional impairment, were also recently moved into priority group 6.

It said appointments are already being scheduled for those in priority groups 5 and 6.

Welsh Government advice states that once someone has had the vaccine, they should still follow the same steps including wearing a mask, keeping a 2m distance, washing hands and keeping rooms well ventilated.

Coronavirus levels are now at their lowest since last September following a strict Alert Level 4 lockdown which started just before Christmas.

The latest PHW data shows the country's seven-day case rate at 44 cases per 100,000 people.

A further 166 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded, taking the total number of confirmed cases in Wales to 205,368.

Three further deaths have also been reported, taking the total in the country since the start of the pandemic to 5,406.

First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to give details as to the next steps of easing lockdown during the government's three-weekly review on Friday 12 March.