Covid vaccines: 'Get your booster jab before the New Year' as cases increase

  • Correspondent Carole Green visits a North Wales vaccination centre

People in Wales are being urged to get their booster jab before the New Year as Covid cases are on the rise.

NHS staff were asked to cancel their Christmas plans in order to help deliver Wales' vaccine booster programme in a huge 'call to arms' by the Welsh Government earlier this month.

Sara Scott, Matron of the vaccination programme for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, has seen a "steady flow" of people coming for their jabs over the Christmas period.

She described the ramp up before Christmas as "incredible".

Ms Scott said: "They worked over and above the hours that was expected. They responded to the call for staff to come and help and it's been remarkable to see the team come and work together.

"We couldn't do it without the volunteers. They've helped with marshalling, coming and working on the floor with us and doing the inputting on the systems."

The latest data, as of Boxing Day, gives the total number of cases of the highly-transmissable Omicron variant in Wales at 1,689.

However, Public Health Wales did not publish new data on Monday December 28 while the country observes a Bank Holiday.

The Welsh Government is currently aiming to hit a target of offering all eligible adults an appointment by the end of December.

Ms Scott added: "The message is to everyone: please get your boosters before the New Year. It's really important because the numbers are increasing.

"Just protect yourselves, protect those who are around you and your loved ones.

"Come, and we will deal with whatever concerns you have. Whatever questions you have we'll answer them when you arrive and if you have phobias, as long as we're aware of that, we will deal with those."

How people are being offered coronavirus booster vaccines differs depending on which health board they live in.

In the latest coronavirus briefing, health minister Eluned Morgan said many vaccination centres would be expanded to have dedicated walk-in lanes.

However, she added that the walk-in slots would be targeted at “particular groups of people.”

With each of Wales' seven health boards managing their own vaccination programmes, some are offering the opportunity for people to attend walk-in centres, while others are maintaining invitation-only appointments.