Health minister announces care home Covid-19 vaccinations in Wales to start from Wednesday
Care home residents in Wales will begin to be vaccinated from Wednesday, the country’s health minister has announced.
Vaughan Gething said the first care homes to receive the jab will be those in North Wales, with a rollout to those in other areas of the country before Christmas.
Moving the Pfizer vaccine into care homes for residents who cannot attend clinics has so far been delayed due to logistical problems with storing it at ultra-low temperatures.
At Monday’s Welsh Government press briefing, Mr Gething (pictured) said 6,000 people, mostly health and social care staff, have so far received the first dose of the vaccine since its rollout started last Tuesday.
“We started vaccinating people last week, giving us real hope that next year will be different, and better, than 2020,” he said.
“In the first few days, more than 6,000 people received the first dose of the vaccine. Clinics will continue this week and we will start vaccinating people living in care homes, starting in North Wales from Wednesday.
“We are starting this phase of the programme slowly. We need to make sure we can safely transport the vaccine to people who can’t come to clinics.
“This vaccine has to be stored in ultra-low temperatures. Repackaging the vaccine into smaller quantities for use in care homes has to be done under strict conditions set by the regulator.
“There’s a risk that it becomes less potent if it is moved too much once it’s been thawed.
“This week we will check we can repackage and deliver the vaccine without wasting any and, crucially, that it still protects people.
“If all goes well this week, we will roll out care home vaccination at much greater pace ahead of Christmas, bringing a new level of protection to some of our most vulnerable people.”
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