Nearly 16,000 people have now received their first Covid-19 vaccine jab in North Wales according to the latest figures.
By the end of last week, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) chiefs said 15,852 people had been given the first dose, with the figure expected to be higher, as injections continue.
They said it followed “a significant increase in the number of vaccinations being delivered across North Wales” following concerns of a regional vaccine roll out delay.
So far 86,039 have received the first dose in Wales, with a further 79 having the second dose. The figures for vaccinations across all health boards in Wales, have not yet been updated.
A statement by BCUHB said: “We know initially there was some concern about the supply of vaccine to North Wales in the first few weeks of the programme, but we have always been clear that we will receive our proportion of the vaccine.
“We have now seen a significant increase in supply and that has been quickly reflected in the overall number of people who have had their vaccine in North Wales.”
All three Mass Vaccination Centres (MVCs) located in Bangor,Llandudno and Deeside are now being used, together with three Hospital Vaccination Centres (HVCs) at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Wrecsam Maelor.
“No other health board has commissioned this number of sites and establishing this scale of delivery has been the programme’s objective over the initial weeks,” the BCUHB statement said.
“This investment in infrastructure, coupled with the support of GP practices, will enable North Wales to safely delivery significantly higher volumes of vaccinations and confidently provide assurance around meeting any volume and timeline targets.”
In addition this week the health board is planning to increase the number of jabs given, after receiving 8,576 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech and 6,300 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
They will be administered to care home residents and staff; people aged over 80, including hospital inpatients; and staff working in high risk frontline health care, primary care, the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS) and social care.
“We will continue to deliver the vaccine from our MVCs and HVCs. The aim is to reach as many people as quickly as possible, particularly those group identified as being most vulnerable. The supply of vaccines we receive will also continue to increase in coming weeks to help us do this.
“We are also starting to deliver the vaccine with the support of our primary care partners, and we will share more information about this in the coming weeks. As previously stated, this is particularly important given the large area we cover in North Wales.
“This will be supported by working with community pharmacy teams, who can provide further opportunities for people to get their vaccine as close to home as possible,” BCUHB said.
By the end of January, the health board is aiming to vaccinate 90% of the following groups: care home residents and staff, 80 years and above,BCU frontline staff, domiciliary and social care frontline staff and other care partner frontline staff.
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“To help keep people up-to-date with the vaccination programme, every household in North Wales will receive a letter this week,” BCUHB said.
“This will explain in more detail the list of priority groups that will be vaccinated first, how they will be contacted and other useful information.
“We continue to remind people that they do not need to contact the Health Board or their GP as they will be contacted by telephone or letter when it is their turn to be vaccinated.”
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