Wales' Covid-19 vaccine rollout 'one of the best in the world' - but how has it got there?

On Monday 7 June, more than 2.1 million adults had received their first dose of the jab, with one million people getting both. Credit: PA

From next week, all adults in Wales would have been offered the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, making Wales' vaccine rollout "one of the best in the world".

Wales is leading the way, with first doses administered at a faster pace than any other UK nation.

On Monday 7 June, more than 2.1 million adults had received their first dose of the jab, with one million people getting both.

However, the Welsh Government is warning people to remain vigilant as there is still a risk of a third wave.

In the vaccination strategy published on Monday, it said: "There is still a risk of a third wave with increased transmission and the hospitalisations that accompany increased prevalence within our communities."

People are being encouraged to get their jab, to ensure protection from Covid-19.

Since 4 June 2021:

But why is Wales' Covid-19 vaccination programme considered one of the most effective and efficient in the world?

The Welsh Government has praised volunteers, health staff and the public for their "commitment" to the rollout.

The Welsh Government has praised volunteers, health staff and the public for their "commitment" to the rollout.

The Health Minister, Eluned Morgan has put the success down to the following factors:

  • Every dose of vaccine delivered to Wales is moved quickly to our vaccination centres, GP practices and pharmacies to be given to citizens straight away.

  • Taking great care to keep waste to a minimum. 

  • Tracking every dose of vaccine from delivery to arm. 

  • Planning ahead.

  • Moving through priority cohorts swiftly, at the right time. 

  • Responding quickly to changes in demand. 

  • Responding to emerging risks. 

  • Understanding local needs. 

  • Getting vaccine to those who are most vulnerable.

  • Regularly telling the people of Wales how we are doing. 

  • The dedication and resilience of the NHS staff.

Whilst the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine in Wales remains extremely high, there are still a number of people across all age ranges who, despite receiving more than one offer, remain unvaccinated.

Over the past month there has been an increase in the number of people not turning up to get their vaccine.

With new variants such as the Delta variant - formally known as the Indian variant - having increased transmissibility, the government is saying it is "as important as ever to take up the offer of a first, and crucially, a second vaccination."

Receiving a second dose of the jab is proven to provide much higher protection against the virus.

A recent study by Public Health England suggests that people have:

But why are some people still not taking up the offer of a jab?

Issues such as transport, child care responsibilities, incorrect patient contact details, access and a lack of confidence and trust in the vaccination are being attributed to the gap in people getting the jab.

What's next?

With variants emerging, Wales is prioritising the completion of the "two dose course" to ensure better "protection against existing and new variant strains of the virus."

The need to still adhere to guidance is paramount, particularly when it comes to "self-isolation and testing, and on levels of indoor mixing whilst keeping good ventilation, as well as remembering to stay safe by maintaining social distance, wearing face coverings and maintaining good hand hygiene."

As the Welsh Government moves nearer to completing Phase 2 and achieving milestone 3 - where all eligible adults have been offered a first dose - there will be a focus of booster jabs in the autumn.

Receiving a second dose of the jab is proven to provide much higher protection against the virus. Credit: PA

There are trials and studies being conducted around the world to understand more about:

  • How long people are protected for once they have had both doses of a vaccine?

  • Who will need a booster and which vaccines are best for them?

  • Can the flu and COVID-19 vaccination be given at the same time?

  • Should young people or children below 18 years be vaccinated, and from what age?

  • How we may need to adjust vaccines to respond to new variants.

In the meantime, four areas of focus will be needed for the next phase:

Mr Drakeford said: “I am very proud to say that Wales has one of the best Covid vaccination programmes in the world.

“We will make the offer of vaccination to all eligible adults six weeks ahead of schedule and we expect to reach 75% take-up across all priority groups and age groups a month ahead of target.

“This is a remarkable achievement and a tribute to the hard work of all those involved in the programme – to all those doing the complex work of planning behind the scenes and to the thousands of people vaccinating and helping to run the clinics across the country.

“You are doing a fantastic job. I am incredibly proud and thankful for everything you are doing to help protect Wales from this awful virus.”


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