Praise for North Wales GP practice vaccination effort and latest update from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

A DOCTOR leading the Covid-19 vaccination programme in North Wales has paid tribute to the crucial role that GP practices and community pharmacies are playing in its rollout.

As of February 7, 144,102 people in North Wales had received their first Covid-19 vaccination

Between February 1 and 7 February, 42,674 people were recorded as having received their first vaccination with more than 21,119 Pfizer BioNtech vaccines given and 21,555 AstraZeneca vaccines given.

A total of 77 per cent of priority groups one to four have received their first vaccination dose.

Bryn yr Haul care home in Mold became the first care home in North Wales where residents received their second dose of the vaccine last week.

This week, the health board will continue to vaccinate those in the first four priority groups. They expect to receive 35,130 vaccines – 22,230 Pfizer BioNTech and 12,900 AstraZeneca.

All 98 GP practices and more than half of community pharmacies in North Wales are supporting the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.

Dr Chris Stockport, BCUHB’s COVID-19 Lead and Executive Director of Primary and Community Care

Dr Chris Stockport, BCUHB’s COVID-19 Lead and Executive Director of Primary and Community Care

Dr Chris Stockport, BCUHB’s Covid-19 Lead and executive director of Primary and Community Care, has paid tribute to the army of primary care contractors delivering the region’s largest ever vaccination programme.

He said: “We’ve had an incredibly positive response from our primary care partners and we simply could not deliver such a large scale vaccination programme without their support and expertise. They have played a leading role in the vaccination rollout to date and the number of doses they administer will increase significantly over the coming weeks and months.

“It took from the middle of December to the end of January to vaccinate our first 100,000 people, because it is normal for vaccine supply to be lower in the early weeks of the rollout of new vaccines. As supply increases we expect to administer 84,000 doses within a two week window.

“We’re confident that we have the capacity in place through primary care partners, Mass Vaccination Centres and Local Vaccination Centres to deliver an ever increasing number of doses as supply increases.”

GP Dr Clare Corbett and colleagues at Clarence Medical Centre in Rhyl are among the GP practices supporting the vaccine rollout.

Dr Corbett said: “There has been a fantastic team response from practice staff, volunteers and cluster and health board colleagues over the last few weeks for the safe delivery of the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine to our most vulnerable patients. We are grateful to all of the patients for their uplifting positivity and determination, which has been vital for the smooth running of clinics.

“We look forward to continuing to help deliver the vaccinations to the wider population over the coming months in the fight against Covid.”

Gill Harris, deputy chief Executive of BCUHB, said: “With under a week to go, we are on track to reach the target set by Welsh Government to have offered Covid-19 vaccinations to the first four priority groups by the middle of February. This is a significant achievement and is testimony to the hard work of the local health services staff and volunteers, and especially our primary care colleagues.

“We are also about to embark on another milestone, as work starts next week to administer the second dose of Pfizer vaccines. The pace of the next phase of the vaccination programme is dependent on vaccine supplies.

“This week, we will continue to vaccinate those in the first four priority groups.

“We expect to receive a total of 35,130 vaccines – 22,230 Pfizer BioNTech and 12,900 AstraZeneca. Vaccine numbers for the following week are yet to be confirmed.

“Following guidance from Welsh Government, we will start to administer second doses of the Pfizer vaccine after February 15.

“All our frontline healthcare workers will be contacted for their second Pfizer dose appointment over four weeks starting on February 15.

“Those in the first priority group cohorts who were first vaccinated at a Mass Vaccination Centre between December and January 6th will be called back to the same Vaccination Centre during the week commencing February 15.

“The vaccination programme has secured additional military support and from this week, we have military personnel working with our planning teams as well as working in vaccination support roles.”

Key achievements

  • As of February 7, 144,102 people in North Wales had received their first Covid-19 vaccination
  • Between February 1 and February 7, 42,674 people were recorded as having received their first vaccination across north Wales with over 21,119 Pfizer BioNtech vaccines given and 21,555 AstraZeneca vaccines given
  • 77 per cent of priority groups one to four have received their first vaccination dose

By the end of this week (February 14) BCUHB want to have offered a vaccine to the first four priority groups.

Ms Harris added: “If you are under the age of 70 and have received a formal letter from the Welsh Government advising you to shield because you are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), please contact the Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Centre on 03000 840004 to book your vaccination appointment.

“Our vaccination teams are working through the priority groups and want to ensure everyone is offered an appointment in turn. We know it can be an anxious time but we don’t want to leave anyone behind.

“Additional staffing has been introduced at the vaccination booking centre to deal with an increased volume of calls.”

The opening hours are 8am to 5pm.

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno