Three quarters of people in Wales have now had both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, the Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan has announced.
The latest of figures released on Friday (16 July) show that after 7 months 1,892,082 people have had both vaccines and completed the course and 2,279,139 people or 90.3% of the country have had their first dose.
Wales has already met its third milestone, after offering vaccination to all eligible adults 6 weeks early, and achieving 75% take up in the under 50s a month early.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan said: “Every vaccination gives us hope and this is a fantastic achievement in such a short space of time. I’m incredibly proud and grateful to the thousands NHS staff and volunteers who have worked so hard across the country to reach this milestone. I am incredibly proud that Wales has one of the best vaccination rates anywhere in the world. The people of Wales have embraced our efforts to overcome this awful virus by saying yes to this life saving vaccine and I thank everyone who has taken up the offer of the vaccine.
“The pandemic is not over yet. Vaccinations are the way out of this pandemic and the best way to protect yourselves and those around you from the virus. I encourage anyone who hasn’t yet had their vaccination to come forward contact their health board and book their vaccination.”
Dr Gill Richardson, Wales’ Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Vaccines, added: “Today’s figures show Wales has achieved yet another major achievement in our efforts to vaccinate as many people as quickly and safely as possible. All of this has been achieved through the fantastic efforts of our vaccination programme, healthcare staff and the public. Every single dose really does count and the more infectious Delta variant needs us all to have 2 doses to optimise protection which is achieved 2-3 weeks following the second dose.
Every vaccine administered is a step closer to a brighter future for us all. The vaccines are safe and effective and I urge everyone to take up their offer when it is their turn.”
Swansea professor’s COVID contribution recognised with new honour
A Swansea academic at the forefront of shaping our understanding of Covid-19 has received further recognition for his work in the field of data science.
This latest honour follows on from Professor Lyons becoming a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and being appointed OBE in the New Year’s honours.
The focus of his work is the use of routinely collected data to better understand factors that influence health and wellbeing and developing and evaluating interventions aimed to improve the health of the public. He has led some of the largest studies ever undertaken in this field and contributed to research surrounding the pandemic and its consequences at Wales, UK and European level.
Professor Lyons said he was delighted to have been recommended for membership of the prestigious Academia Europaea, which aims to encourage the highest possible standards in scholarship, research and education, and promote a better public understanding of the benefits of learning.
He said: “This honour is a recognition of the shared efforts and hard work of the various teams and partners I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years. None more so than over the last two years, during the pandemic.
“Through the European Population Health Information Research Infrastructure (PHIRI) Project we’re developing research infrastructure to generate the best Covid-19 population health knowledge. The multi-disciplinary, One Wales working group provided crucial evidence to Welsh Government’s response to Covid community transmission and informed policy development across the UK.
“The International Covid-19 Data Alliance (ICODA) partnership with Health Data Research UK and the Bills Gates Foundation and others, is supporting a globally coordinated approach to tackling Covid and future threats.
“This has been an incredibly challenging period for us all and I’m enormously proud that these labours have been acknowledged and rewarded by this election.”
Professor Lyons now joins more than 5,000 other eminent, individual scientists and scholars, who cover a broad range of academic disciplines that include former Nobel Prize laureates, Turing Award recipients and Fields Medal winners.
(Lead image: Swansea University)
Health board lifts visiting restrictions at Glangwili and Withybush hospitals
Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed that restrictions for people visiting patients will be lifted in Glangwili and Withybush hospitals from Wednesday 20 July 2022.
Visiting to Bronglais Hospital, Prince Philip Hospital and community hospitals remain open, by appointment only.
The health board are advised that it will still be a requirement to wear masks in Glangwili, Prince Philip and Withybush hospitals.
Mandy Rayani, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience, said: “Last week we had to make the decision to extend measures at Glangwili Hospital in addition to Withybush Hospital to reduce the risk to our patients and staff and we thank people for their support and co-operation.
“We can all continue to take protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to protect vulnerable people and the NHS.
“We strongly advise anyone in our locality who has the classic symptoms, or who suspects they may have COVID-19 to isolate and take an LFD test. If positive, we urge people to isolate – this will help you to rest and recover while protecting others from risk of transmission.”
(Lead image: Google Maps)
Mask wearing reinstated at Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital
Hywel Dda University Health Board have said that all staff and visitors to Prince Philip Hospital must wear face masks (unless exempt) with immediate effect following the latest review of prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.
This follows the decisions made last week to reinstate mask wearing at Glangwili Hospital and both mask wearing and visiting restrictions at Withybush Hospital.
The health board have said that visiting will continue in general at Glangwili and Prince Philip hospitals following the latest review of case numbers but local ward restrictions are in place so please contact the ward to arrange your visit in advance
Mandy Rayani, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Wearing a surgical mask or face covering and keeping a physical distance when attending a hospital or medical facility will help protect our most vulnerable patients and service users.
“We are grateful for the ongoing support and efforts of our communities to stop the spread, particularly around more vulnerable people.
“These measures will be continually reviewed, and as soon as it is safe to do so, we will ease these restrictions.”
The health board is stressing the continued importance of the behaviours known to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and the different requirements in place in health and social care settings.
Mandy, added: “Isolating if we have symptoms of COVID-19, or other infectious diseases, is one of the most important things we can do to prevent the onward spread and break the chain of transmission.
“We strongly encourage anyone in our locality who has the classic symptoms, or who suspects they may have COVID-19 to isolate and take an LFD test. If positive, we urge people to continue with the same isolation guidance that has been in place – this will help you to rest and recover and protect others from risk of transmission.”
Later this week, the Welsh Government will update its vaccine strategy with details of the next booster dose in the autumn.
The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Sir Frank Atherton said:
“The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. While the vaccine does not completely stop transmission it offers protection against serious illness and reduces the risk of hospitalisation.
“You can still get the vaccine if you haven’t had your full course, or you were too ill to get your spring booster and I would encourage parents to think about getting the vaccine for their children over the summer months to help minimise any disruption to their education during the autumn and winter terms.”
(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)
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