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Weekly vaccine bulletin - issue one

Welcome to the first edition of Hywel Dda University Health Board’s vaccine bulletin.

This weekly update will provide up-to-date information regarding the progress of the COVID-19 mass vaccination programme across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

 

Foreword by Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda UHB and Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB

This vaccine offers our community hope and we know there have been challenges in starting what is the biggest mass vaccination programme the NHS has ever seen.

However, we are confident we are overcoming these challenges thanks to the dedication of our NHS staff and colleagues across primary care and this weekly bulletin will provide up-to-date information about the expansion of the programme that we hope will provide reassurance to our community.

The approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the past couple weeks has been significant, making it far easier for us to expand our vaccination programme into our communities through our GP practices.

We hope to share further news about additional mass vaccination centres in Aberystwyth, Haverfordwest and Llanelli and how our community pharmacies will have a pivotal role as soon as details are confirmed.

We are asking our communities to bear with us. Please don’t phone your GP or hospital to find out when your vaccine will be, you will be contacted when we are ready to offer you your vaccine.

It is also very important to remember, COVID-19 vaccines are one method of protection, but we all have a part to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 now by continuing with regular handwashing, social distancing and wearing a mask when required even if you have been vaccinated.

 

Hywel Dda UHB vaccine statistics (correct at publication)

  • 12,686 first doses administered up to Sunday 10 January 2020
  • 6,400 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine received in total to date (for over 80s, including house-bound patients, long-stay inpatients and all care home residents)
  • GP practices offering the Oxford-AstraZeneca this week:  
    • Carmarthenshire – six practices
    • Ceredigion – four practices
    • Pembrokeshire – four practices
  • 3,900 doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine confirmed for week beginning Monday 11 January (strictly for care home, health and social care staff only at our mass vaccination centres in Carmarthen and Cardigan)

 

Mass vaccination centres

Front-line care home staff, health and social care staff will continue to be vaccinated in our mass centres in Carmarthen and Cardigan this week.

Do not attend without an appointment and under no circumstances should you book an appointment at either of these centres if you are not a front-line care home, health or social care member of staff.

The health board is also setting up additional mass vaccination centres in Aberystwyth, Llanelli and Haverfordwest. Announcements will be made as soon as details are finalised.

 

New covid vaccination strategy published (opens in new tab)

Health Minister Vaughan Gething will today (Monday 11 January 2021) publish the COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, which sets out three key milestones.

  • By mid-February – all care home residents and staff; frontline health and social care staff; everyone over 70 and everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable will have been offered vaccination.
  • By the Spring – vaccination will have been offered to all the other phase one priority groups. This is everyone over 50 and everyone who is at-risk because they have an underlying health condition.
  • By the autumn – vaccination will have been offered to all other eligible adults in Wales, in line with any guidance issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

In total, around 2.5m people throughout Wales could be offered COVID vaccines by September, depending on further advice from the JCVI.

Please click here for further information on the vaccination plan (opens in new tab)

 

Eligibility for the vaccine

The groups to be prioritised to receive a COVID-19 vaccine first are decided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) at a UK level. This is based on knowledge around who is most at risk from COVID-19.

This priority list is as follows: 

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers 
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers 
  3. all those 75 years of age and over 
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals 
  5. all those 65 years of age and over 
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality 
  7. all those 60 years of age and over 
  8. all those 55 years of age and over 
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

Hywel Dda UHB’s vaccination programme is currently focused on administering the vaccine to people in priority groups 1 and 2.

 

Important information

  • An interval of 7 days is advised between any other vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine. This includes flu vaccines. An interval of 28 days following a COVID positive test is advised, as long as you feel well and have recovered.
  • You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine. But it is possible to have caught COVID-19 and not realise you have the symptoms until after being vaccinated. The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:
    • a new continuous cough
    • a high temperature
    • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
    • some people also have a sore throat, headache, nasal congestion, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting

If you have any of the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test. If you need more information on symptoms click here (opens in new tab)

  • There are two vaccines for use in Wales – the Pfizer vaccine, which we have been using since early December and the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine, the first doses of which were given last week. A third vaccine was approved on Friday 8 January – the Moderna vaccine – but the first supplies of this vaccine will not be available in the UK until the Spring.
  • Information is available online to reassure about patient safety to allow informed decisions, and robust consent processes will be in place to manage this. Please click here for up-to-date information (opens in new tab).
  • It is important to have the second dose for longer-term protection. The JCVI has advised that the interval between the first and second dose should be up to 12 weeks. This allows as many people as possible to be protected with a first dose. Increasing the number of individuals receiving the first dose by extending the dose interval up to 12 weeks means many more people will have good protection, without reducing the long term effectiveness of the two dose course, and will prevent many more hospitalisations and deaths than using a 3 or 4 week dose interval. The JCVI have published a statement explaining the reason for their advice here (opens in new tab).

 

Scam awareness

Criminals are using the pandemic to scam the public – don’t become a victim.

You will be informed by your GP or health board when it is your turn to receive a vaccine. You'll only be contacted usually either through a phone call, a letter or text message. You will never be asked for any bank details or a payment.

Stop others falling victim to scams, report any suspicious text messages by forwarding them to Ofcom on 7726.

 

Further information and updates

The information contained in this bulletin is subject to frequent change and is correct at the time of publication. For up-to-date information from trusted sources please follow:

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