This week we managed to vaccinate the last of our housebound residents in North Wales, ensuring that 100% of those more vulnerable people are protected against COVID-19.
With more than 1.5 million vaccinations already delivered to people living or working in North Wales, and more than 81 per cent of those eligible now having their boosters, we have made significant progress to protect our communities.
Once again we would like to thank all of our staff and volunteers that have helped us to deliver such a successful vaccination programme to date, including those members of staff from other service areas that supported us over the busy festive period.
We have started to vaccinate 5 to 11 year olds with certain underlying health conditions and those who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed.
This week we will continue to contact children with underlying health conditions by telephone to arrange an appointment, there is no need to contact the Health Board. Where possible, these appointments will be arranged in a familiar setting, such as a children’s outpatient department in one of our hospitals.
So far there has been a good response from children in the 5 to 11 year old cohort that are living with an immunosuppressed person for the majority of the week, i.e. 4 days in 7 or more. This can be done when contact is made to arrange an appointment for the household member who is immunosuppressed, or by completing our online form which we will validate and be in contact to arrange an appointment.
If anyone thinks their child is in a clinical risk group and has not been contacted they can leave their details with our Contact Centre on 03000 840004 for that eligibility to be checked.
All children and young people aged 16 to 17 years old are now being offered booster doses of the vaccine following a recommendation from the JCVI.
The booster dose should be offered no sooner than three months after completion of their primary course.
We are now offering second doses to 12 to 15 year olds following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) based on the latest evidence.
We are once again appealing to pregnant women to come forward for their COVID-19 vaccine. For any mother to be, getting their first, second and booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most important things they can do to protect themselves and their unborn baby against COVID-19 and, particularly against the new omicron variant.
Based on the data about safety, together with the increased risk from COVID-19 the JCVI has advised that pregnant women should be considered as a clinical risk group.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have previously announced that individuals who are immunosuppressed should receive a third primary dose of vaccination.
We have been working closely with clinicians to identify relevant individuals and determine whether a third or booster dose needs to be administered at a specific point within their treatment cycles, or whether there is a need to delay medication in order to ensure the greatest positive immune response to the vaccine.
The majority of those identified do not need specific timing and they will receive a letter of appointment for their third primary dose.
If they have already had a booster, this will be amended on their record to a third primary dose and they will be invited for a booster no sooner than three months (91 days) later.
We are continuing to work closely with our clinicians to invite those that require a specific timing based on their treatment and/or medication schedule.
You are always welcome if you change your mind to come forwards and be vaccinated, we still have the staff in place and vaccines available for people who haven’t had their first, second, third or booster doses. It is important to make sure you protect yourself, your families and our NHS services from COVID-19 so we would urge to book their appointments as soon as possible.