More than 14,000 people vaccinated in Wales over past week, figures show

More than 14,000 people have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Wales over the past week, figures show.

Public Health Wales said a total of 49,428 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had been given to people across the country up until January 3.

Of these, 49,403 were first doses of the vaccine and 25 were a second dose.

Health officials say the actual number of vaccines given will be higher, and the figures do not include those who received the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.

Dr Gillian Richardson, senior responsible officer for Wales’ Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “Just four weeks since the first Covid-19 vaccine was approved for use in the UK and almost 50,000 people have received a vaccine.

“This is the first mass vaccination programme of its kind in Wales and the efforts by NHS Wales and Public Health Wales have been exceptional.

“The number of doses unable to be used have been incredibly low – at around 1% – and significantly below anticipated levels, thanks to the robust appointment planning and reserve lists.

“The recent approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is a real game-changer and will help us speed up our vaccination programme considerably.

“Over the next three weeks, we will receive a further 105,000 doses of the two vaccines to help protect people who are most at-risk.

“The NHS is providing vaccines as quickly and as safely as possible to people in the priority groups.”

From Monday, information about the number of people vaccinated will be updated daily online.

On Thursday, Public Health Wales said there had been a further 1,718 cases of coronavirus in Wales.

This takes the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 163,234.

A further 63 deaths were reported, bringing the total in Wales since the start of the pandemic to 3,801.

Figures show the seven-day incidence rate for Wales until January 2 was 486.5 cases per 100,000 people.

The testing positivity rate across Wales was 24.3%.

On Thursday, Hywel Dda University Health Board confirmed that the Ysbyty Enfys Carreg Las field hospital at the Bluestone Resort near Canaston Bridge, Pembrokeshire, was now accepting patients.

The site will allow patients to move out of acute hospitals after they have been assessed as no longer needing medical input but still require some care before being discharged home or to a community care facility.

There are now field hospitals in each of the three counties – Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion – covered by Hywel Dda University Health Board.

Dr Meinir Jones, associate medical director for the health board and clinical lead for the field hospitals, said: “We’re delighted to have another operational extra capacity site to help relieve pressure on our acute hospitals.

“Covid-19 is going to be with us for some time, and while the rollout of two vaccines is great news, the health board is working hard to ensure we continue to deliver the best possible care to our communities.

“These field hospitals are an important part of our wider strategy to tackle the pandemic.”