Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford (Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Wales has become the first UK country to have offered a Covid-19 vaccination to everyone in the top four priority groups including community pharmacists, the government has announced on Friday (Feb 12).

Everyone over 70, all frontline health and social care workers, everyone living and working in care homes, and everyone who are clinically extremely vulnerable, have been offered a Covid-19 jab, first minister Mark Drakeford has said.

Arrangements are in place to make sure no one is left behind – if someone missed an appointment because they were ill or maybe they changed their mind about having the vaccine, a new appointment will be made for them, the Wales government has said.

The latest available figures show 684,097 people have received their first dose of the vaccine and out of which 117,181 vaccine participants are healthcare workers.

Drakeford said: “Vaccination is the number one priority for the Welsh Government and for the NHS in Wales.

“To have achieved this first milestone and offered vaccination to everyone in the first four priority groups – those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus – is a truly phenomenal effort. I want to thank everyone who has been working around the clock to reach this point.

“Of course, the hard work has only just begun – there are many, many more people to vaccinate yet and a lot of second doses still to give.”

If health boards have been unable to contact someone on the list, or if an appointment has been missed, systems are in place to go back and check and re-arrange a new appointment for anyone who wants to be vaccinated.

Health minister Vaughan Gething said: “The first milestone in our Vaccination Strategy set out that everyone in first four priority groups will have been offered their first dose appointment by mid-February.

“Not everyone in these groups will have attended their appointment yet, some will not have responded and some will have chosen not to have the vaccine.

“We would ask individuals to keep their appointments as allocated where possible.

“If people cannot attend their appointment for a genuine reason we ask them to let the health board know via the contact details provided in their invitation. The appointment can then be rearranged for a more convenient time or location.”

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