All eligible adults in Wales now offered first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, Welsh Government says

Vaccination teams across the country were also accelerating second doses due to concerns over the Delta coronavirus variant, the Welsh Government said Credit: PA Images

All eligible adults in Wales have now been offered a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine six weeks ahead of schedule, the Welsh Government has said.

It added that vaccination clinics across Wales were accelerating second doses amid growing concerns over the spread of the Delta variant of the virus across the UK.

Paying tribute to Wales' many vaccination teams, Health Minister Eluned Morgan said Wales was now leading the world in the rate at which it was vaccinating people.

She said: "I'm delighted that today we have reached the milestone of offering all eligible adults their first dose - six weeks ahead of schedule.

"This is a remarkable achievement and I want to thank everyone involved for their incredible efforts.

"However, we are not being complacent - I want to encourage younger adults to take up this offer of the vaccine and we don't want to see anyone left behind."

The minister indicated that she now hoped to see an increased take-up amongst younger people.

"We are keen to see 18 to 39-year-olds vaccinated and hope to reach our milestone of 75% take-up in this age group by the end of this month," she said.

"Please take up your vaccine appointment; it offers protection to you, your loved ones and your communities and it is our best route out of the pandemic."

Ms Morgan's comments come as one north Wales GP reported that around 400 people failed to turn up for their jabs at a vaccination centre in Wrexham on Sunday.

In a statement, Alyn Family Doctors said: "Although we managed to call people in through social media so that no doses were wasted, this is a huge admin burden on staff to undertake during a clinic."We know that there are many reasons that people may need to change a booking, but please let us know. We also realise that, with the good weather and things opening up, it's tempting to forego vaccination, but we ask you to prioritise your booking."

The reaching of the vaccine target comes six weeks ahead of its original schedule Credit: PA Images

Latest Public Health Wales data shows that 2,213,050 people have been given a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 1,378,010 have been given a two-dose course.

Jenny Spreafico, immunisation co-ordinator for Powys Teaching Health Board, said that despite the vaccine campaign's progress it was important nothing was wasted.

She said: "I want to thank everyone who has done their bit and come forward to get their vaccine so far, and I want to encourage anyone who hasn't yet to come forward for yours.

"If you can't attend, contact your health board to rearrange so no dose is wasted. More than 85% of people in Wales have had their first dose.

"Your vaccine offer will not expire - if you need more information, the Public Health Wales website can help.

"Getting the vaccine protects you, your friends and family - and your community." 

Vaughan Gething urged people to make sure they get the vaccine to protect themselves and their community. Credit: Welsh Government

Asked about vaccine hesitancy in Wales, Vaughan Gething said the Government is seeing success in the community initiatives set up to target people who may be worried about receiving the vaccine.

Speaking at today's coronavirus briefing, he said "We have actually seen a real impact on it when we started. We're seeing the differential vaccination rates closing and moving more closely together, which is good news for us all."

But despite the success of vaccine drives by housing associations and interfaith organisation, the Economy Minister did say it is vital that the Government do not take their foot off the accelerator.

"My message to anyone who is worried, is to take the vaccine to make sure you protect yourself. Because we've seen the harm that COVID has caused, and it is not caused evenly across the population.

"So if you're worried, talk to someone who's already had the vaccine because you will almost certainly know someone who has done.

"I had both of my doses of the Oxford vaccine, and I feel much better for protecting my family and the community I live within, please do the same for yourself and your community too. And together, we can continue to take Wales forward and out of this pandemic."

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