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2021-02-12 14:37:06 | Wales is first UK nation to offer Covid jab to top four priority groups | UK news

2021-02-12 14:37:06 | Wales is first UK nation to offer Covid jab to top four priority groups | UK news

Story by: Haroon SiddiqueThe Guardian

Wales has become the first UK nation to have offered a Covid jab to everyone in the top four priority groups, the first minister, Mark Drakeford has announced.

Last month, Drakeford was forced to defend Wales’s vaccination programme after criticism of delays from opposition parties and doctors. But at a press conference on Friday, he said that 66 days after people in Wales first began getting the jab, the key target had been achieved.

“I’m incredibly proud to say that we have achieved the first milestone in our vaccination strategy,” he said. “And what that means is that we have offered vaccination to everyone in the first four priority groups – that’s everyone over 70, all frontline health and social care workers, everyone living and working in an old person’s care home and everyone who are [sic] clinically extremely vulnerable.

Pfizer/BioNTech

Country US/Germany

Efficacy 95% a week after the second shot. Pfizer says it is only 52% after the first dose but the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) says this may rise to 90% after 21 days.

The UK has ordered 40m doses.

Doses Clinical trials involved two doses 21 days apart. The UK is stretching this to 12 weeks.

Oxford/AstraZeneca

Country UK

Efficacy 70.4% 14 days after receiving the second dose. May have up to 90% efficacy when given as a half dose followed by a full dose. No severe disease or hospitalisations in anyone who received the vaccine. There have been concerns it is less effective against the South African variant of the coronavirus.

The UK has ordered 100m doses.

Doses Two, four to 12 weeks apart

Moderna

Country US

Efficacy Phase 3 trial results suggest an rating of 94.1%.

The UK has ordered 17m doses, to be delivered in March or April

Doses Two, 28 days apart

Novavax

Country US

Efficacy Phase 3 trials suggest 89.3%.

60m doses ordered by the UK, with distribution expected principally in the second half of the year

Doses Two

Janssen (part of Johnson & Johnson)

Country US

Efficacy 72% in preventing mild to moderate cases in US trials but 66% efficacy observed in international trials. 85% efficacy against severe illness, and 100% protection against hospitalisation and death.

30m doses ordered by the UK

Doses: One, making it unique among Covid vaccines with phase 3 results so far


Photograph: Stéphane Mahé/X02520

“Now this has been a phenomenal effort and it is thanks to the hard work of the thousands of NHS staff, volunteers and military personnel across Wales, who have been vaccinating people every day of the week.”

The latest figures, published on Friday, show that 715,944 people in Wales have received the first dose of the vaccine – more than one in five of the population. Drakeford said there were 740,000 people in Wales in the top four priority groups, which were drawn up by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

All UK nations were aiming to offer a first dose of the jab to people in the four groups – encompassing 15 million people across the UK – by 15 February.

UK coronavirus cases

Drakeford said there would be a small dip in the volume of the vaccine going to Wales before it increased again in March, when it would begin administering first doses of people in the next five priority groups, which encompasses residents aged 50 to 69 and everyone over 16 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.

In the meantime, he said, over the next two weeks Wales would be able to continue to provide second doses to all of those who had already been booked.

He said Wales remained “firmly on track” to complete the priority groups five to nine by the spring, in line with the UK target of everyone over 50 getting their first jab by May, and raised the prospect of easing restrictions in the near future.

He told reporters: “Provided we continue to see levels of infection fall in Wales and we see the impact on our health service being drained away and we see our vaccination programme delivering what we hope it will do in terms of protection it will offer it to people, if that is the path we are on, then the pattern in Wales, as we move towards the spring … we will be able, slowly and cautiously, [to] lift the restrictions that are currently in place in all aspects of our lives.

“That will include the tourism industry and it will include those aspects of family life which are denied to us all at the moment.”

Story continues…

Source References:The Guardian

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