THE 500,000th COVID-19 vaccine was given this weekend, with more than 72% of the population across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire now having had their first dose.
To mark this achievement, Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) is recognising all involved in this extraordinary effort and thanking those who have come forward for their vaccine.
From the administration of the first vaccine at Glangwili Hospital in early December, the programme for mid and west Wales was able to expand at great speed thanks to the involvement of primary care colleagues in GP practices and community pharmacies and the opening of mass vaccination centres across the three counties.
All elements of the programme have been supported along the way by volunteers, partner organisations and a range of staff ‘behind the scenes’ including IT, the health board’s Command Centre, pharmacy teams, public health, security staff and many more.
Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB said, “It is something that has been said previously, but it can’t be overstated what an undertaking a mass vaccination programme of this scale has been.
“It has only been possible thanks to the many organisations, teams and individuals who have worked tirelessly over the past eight months.
“This milestone has been reached at a time when we are sadly seeing an increase in COVID cases across our region, but thanks to the vaccine we are hopeful that our hospitals will not experience the same demand as was seen in the first and second wave.
“We will keep working to do more and increase take up beyond 75%, and deliver second doses for everyone that needs one, but we need everyone’s help to do this.
“Every dose administered, and every person protected really does make a difference. The vaccines are safe and effective. Your second dose of vaccine is important for longer lasting protection against COVID-19 and against the Delta variant.”
No one left behind is a key principle to the Welsh vaccination programme. Whilst the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine in Wales has been extremely high, there are still groups of the population who, despite receiving more than one offer, remain unvaccinated.
The NHS will always be ready for you if you didn’t take up your first offer of COVID-19 vaccination for whatever reason but have changed your mind, it is never too late to arrange an appointment.
If you would like to book your first dose please contact the health board in any of the following ways to request an appointment: