First Minister Mark Drakeford (pictured) today praised the thousands of NHS staff and volunteers vaccinating people for their "phenomenal effort" as the first milestone in Wales’ vaccination programme was reached.
As the final appointments are arranged for the weekend, Wales will achieve the milestone of offering everyone in the first four priority groups vaccination, he said.
Arrangements were in place to make sure no one is left behind – if someone missed an appointment because they were ill or maybe they changed their mind about having the vaccine, a new appointment would be made for them.
Mark Drakeford said: "Vaccination is the number one priority for the Welsh Government and for the NHS in Wales.
"To have achieved this first milestone and offered vaccination to everyone in the first four priority groups – those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus – is a truly phenomenal effort. I want to thank everyone who has been working around the clock to reach this point.
"Of course, the hard work has only just begun – there are many, many more people to vaccinate yet and a lot of second doses still to give.
"The NHS has confirmed everyone in the first four priority groups has been contacted to be offered a vaccination appointment.
"If health boards have been unable to contact someone on the list, or if an appointment has been missed, systems are in place to go back and check and re-arrange a new appointment for anyone who wants to be vaccinated."
The latest available figures show 684,097 people have received their first dose of the vaccine.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething added: "Every vaccine given to someone in Wales is a small victory against the virus and we are already looking ahead to meeting our next milestone.
"The first milestone in our Vaccination Strategy set out that everyone in first four priority groups will have been offered their first dose appointment by mid-February.
"Not everyone in these groups will have attended their appointment yet, some will not have responded and some will have chosen not to have the vaccine.
"We would ask individuals to keep their appointments as allocated where possible.
"If people cannot attend their appointment for a genuine reason we ask them to let the health board know via the contact details provided in their invitation. The appointment can then be rearranged for a more convenient time or location.
"Once you have been vaccinated, you should continue to follow the guidance of staying at home, staying two metres apart, washing your hands and wearing a face covering to protect those around you."
The Wales vaccination programme in numbers:
- 13,988 care home residents have been reported to have had their first dose of the vaccine, as well as 33,832 care home staff
- 160,106 over-80s have been reported to have had their first dose
- 117,181 healthcare workers have been reported to have had their first dose
- 248,827 aged 70-79 have been reported to have had their first dose
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