Covid-19 mass vaccination plans ‘well advanced’ and could start in December, says Betsi Cadwaladr director

A health board executive says plans detailing how to conduct mass vaccinations against Covid-19 are “well advanced” and could start in December.

Dr Chris Stockport, Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board’s executive director of primary care, was updating health board members at their monthly meeting.

He said staff have been finalising plans and working on a December date for starting the vaccinations.

News emerged this week how a trial by American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer appeared to show their vaccine gave 90% protection from Covid.

However detailed information about how long people are protected and what age groups it will be most effective for are yet to be made public.

An Oxford University/AstraZeneca trial of a different vaccine is also said to be close to producing preliminary results.

Dr Stockport said work had been going on to for months on how to distribute the vaccines if and when they get approval in the UK.

He said: “We are formalising those plans now that a date is starting to become a little clearer and a little closer.

“We will be in a position in North Wales to do what we need to do in delivering that vaccination when it becomes available.

“Our distribution will be on a risk based process as people will have imagined.

“It’s safe to say we are well advanced in working out how that will be delivered and it will require everybody working in a collective way.”

Experts believe it will take around 12 months to vaccinate everyone across the globe who needs the jab.

It is also likely, as happens with flu jabs, people will need periodic boosters as the effects wear off and new strains of the coronavirus are discovered.

It is envisaged key staff, such as health and social care workers will be first in line to get the new vaccine when it arrives.

The most vulnerable in society are likely to be immunised next, before specific age groups are called in to be protected.

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno