First Minister Mark Drakeford has said that all eligible adults in Wales will get an appointment for a booster vaccine by the end of December.
He said urgent plans are being put in place to further accelerate the booster programme as new evidence has emerged showing two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are not enough to offer protection against the new omicron variant.
But the booster dose is vital in improving protection against the fast-moving variant.
In a televised message, the First Minister said: “We must be prepared for omicron cases to rise quickly and very steeply – just as they have in other parts of the UK.
“We are still learning about this new form of coronavirus. All the information we have tells us we are facing a very serious situation. By the end of the month, omicron will have become the dominant form of the virus in Wales, bringing a new wave of infections and illness.
“This could then translate into a large number of people needing hospital treatment just at a time when the NHS is already under significant pressure. The Welsh Government will do everything we can to protect people’s health and keep Wales safe.
“New evidence has emerged about the effectiveness of our vaccines against omicron. Two doses of the vaccine is simply not enough to give the level of protection against the infection we all need. We have already increased the speed of the roll-out of our booster programme. New clinics have been opened and operating hours extended. Urgent efforts are now underway to accelerate the programme even further so we can offer all eligible adults an appointment by the end of this year if possible.
“Please make getting a booster a priority, as it is the single most important things you can do to protect yourself against coronavirus and this new variant.”
The First Minister added: “None of us wanted to hear the news of a new omicron variant. After almost two long years of the pandemic, we had all hoped that we could put coronavirus behind us this Christmas. Unfortunately, we are once again facing a serious and worsening situation. But, we have faced challenges many times during this pandemic.
“We can once again pull together to look out for each other – for friends, family and neighbours – to protect each other and keep ourselves safe and well. We have already taken some steps to increase protections in Wales and we may need to take some further steps to keep Wales safe.”
Rob Page: ‘We must now look to the future’
Port Talbot grandfather jailed for running massive cannabis ring
BHF funding offers hope for inherited cardiac conditions patients
Sarah Millican is bringing her latest comedy tour to Swansea
Pembrokeshire CBD Centre becomes UK’s first High Street CBD store partnered with medical cannabis clinic
Llanmoor Homes secures planning for 280 acre new ‘Pentref Rhostir’ community near Llangyfelach
Court grants police further extension to question three people on Bridgend baby deaths
Inspirational sporting achievements recognised in Pembrokeshire awards
New survey reveals money-draining culprit affects more than 50% of British households
England 3 Wales 0: Rashford double ends Welsh World Cup dream
Free bus travel returns to Swansea for Christmas
Date set for Llanelli Christmas Carnival and lights switch-on
Street pianos to bring music and colour to Swansea’s streets
Four Pembrokeshire women to take on ‘world’s toughest row’
Brynhyfryd pub gets brand new look in time to celebrate World Cup
UWTSD to host Cerebra families during Swansea Christmas Parade
Gavin & Stacey star Ruth Jones says getting honorary doctorate from Open University was ‘tidy, lush and crackin’
Swansea set to host football World Cup Fan Park
Swansea Christmas Parade: What you need to know for this Sunday’s event
Christmas multipack Coke recalled as packing error means some zero sugar packs have regular cans included
Pontardawe1 day ago
Pontardawe Swimming Pool to close due to structural issues
Business5 days ago
Carmarthenshire logistics company celebrates 50th anniversary by holding a family fun day in aid of Wales Air Ambulance
Photography6 days ago
Swansea man wins Historic Photographer of the Year competition
Education5 days ago
FIVE new schools could be coming to Neath Port Talbot
Swansea1 day ago
Swansea’s Skyline project moves a step closer with site investigation
Business6 days ago
International consortium on board to deliver Swansea renewable energy project
Swansea6 days ago
Swansea now third busiest train station in Wales – but overall ridership down on pre-pandemic levels
Food & Drink5 days ago
World Cup fans are swapping traditional burgers and sausages for Christmas party food as they stock up for the tournament