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Under a quarter of over-80s in Wales have received Covid-19 jab, figures show

By PA News

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Under a quarter of people aged over 80 in Wales have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to figures released by Public Health Wales.

The agency said 43,879 jabs had been given to the over-80s – 23.9% of the 183,394 people in that age group.

It confirmed 56.4% of care home residents had received their first jab, totalling 9,364 out of 16,602, while 67.5% of care home staff had been vaccinated.

There have been 86,717 jabs given to healthcare workers across Wales, according to the figures which were released on Thursday.

In total, 190,435 first doses of the jab have been administered across Wales since the start of the vaccine rollout in December – 6% of the population.

This now exceeds the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 recorded in the country since the start of the pandemic, which was 185,035 on Thursday. A total of 396 second doses of the vaccine have been given.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said he expected 70% of the over-80s, as well as 70% of care home residents and staff to have received their first jab by January 24.

“I don’t just hope we’ll have reached seven in 10 care home residents and staff by the weekend, I don’t just hope we’ll have reached 70% of the over-80s by the end of the weekend, I expect us to do so,” Mr Gething told the Senedd.

“And I can say that my current understanding is that we have already managed to do so for the majority of our over-80s population.

“This is a programme that is gathering in pace.”

Following the release of the figures on Thursday, Andrew RT Davies, health spokesman for the Welsh Conservatives, called on Mr Gething to urgently clarify his comments.

Mr Davies said there was a “huge difference” between Mr Gething’s claim on Tuesday and the figures published by Public Health Wales, which was “very concerning”.

“The Health Minister must make an urgent statement to clarify the number of over-80s that have received a vaccine in Wales and if necessary correct the record,” Mr Davies said.

On Wednesday, the Welsh Government said that more than 10,000 people were receiving their first dose of the vaccine in Wales each day – equivalent to seven people being vaccinated every minute.

Mr Gething told a press conference in Cardiff that the vaccination would “move up another gear” this week, with increased supplies of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine expected.

The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine began in December (Justin Tallis/PA)
The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine began in December (Justin Tallis/PA)

He said this meant more people aged over 80, as well as those living and working in care homes, would be vaccinated in GP practices and by community nurses in mobile units.

A further 60,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be provided for use in mass vaccination centres in Wales this week, he added.

Mr Gething warned people not to expect a “significant easing” of coronavirus rules when they are formally reviewed by the Welsh Government by January 29.

Wales entered Level 4 restrictions – a national lockdown – on December 20.

“Our case rates remain high, our positivity rates remain high and our NHS is still under significant pressure,” Mr Gething said.

Public Health Wales figures show the latest seven-day incidence rate across Wales is 281 cases per 100,000 people, while the percentage of people testing positive is 16.7%.

A further 1,153 cases of coronavirus and 46 deaths were reported on Thursday, taking the total number of deaths in the country since the start of the pandemic to 4,392.

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