The Welsh government expects to reach 75 per cent take-up for first Covid-19 jabs across all age and priority groups a month ahead of target as the country’s vaccination drive continues to move rapidly.
The original target was to reach the milestone at the end of July. The focus will now move to maximising vaccine coverage for all by ensuring everyone is offered a second dose by the end of September and that no one is left behind, the Welsh government said on Monday (June 7).
The very latest figures, published on Monday, show 2.18m people, or 86 per cent of the adult population, have had a first dose and almost 1.25m people have had a second dose.
Take-up is higher than 90 per cent for first doses in all people over 60; in healthcare workers; care home residents and staff and all those who are extremely clinically vulnerable.
An updated Vaccine Strategy published earlier this week sets out the next steps for the vaccination programme, including minimising inequalities and ensuring no one is left behind.
It highlights the importance of second doses, especially as the new delta variant is spreading in parts of the UK.
“It also sets out the steps Wales is taking to prepare for any decisions by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about booster jabs and vaccinating children – the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) last week approved a vaccine for use in children over 12,” the Welsh government said in an update.
First minister Mark Drakeford said: “We will make the offer of vaccination to all eligible adults six weeks ahead of schedule and we expect to reach 75 per cent take-up across all priority groups and age groups a month ahead of target.
“This is a remarkable achievement and a tribute to the hard work of all those involved in the programme – to all those doing the complex work of planning behind the scenes and to the thousands of people vaccinating and helping to run the clinics across the country.”
Health minister Eluned Morgan added: “The success of our programme in Wales lies in the supply arrangements we have developed; in our determination to use every drop of vaccine- not to waste any and to store the vaccine in people’s arms, rather than in fridges.
“As we complete first doses, we will be re-doubling our efforts to make sure no one is left behind.
“Subject to vaccine supply, we are confident the delivery of second doses will continue to be as fast and successful as first doses. We expect all those who have come forward for their first dose to be offered a second dose by the end of September.”