FOLLOWING the confirmation that a supply of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine expected to arrive in the UK before mid-April will now be delivered up to 4 weeks later than originally planned, Hywel Dda University Health Board is confident this should not impact on commitments to offer a first dose of the vaccine to the current 9 priority groups by the middle of April or second doses as required.
Those with a vaccine appointment scheduled are assured this will go ahead and should attend as planned.
Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda UHB, explains how second vaccine doses have been delivered to date: “The majority of second vaccine doses delivered by the health board so far have been to care home, health and social care staff who received the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine in December and January.
“Care home residents, people aged over 80 and those aged 70 to 74 who are due a second Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming weeks will be contacted and, again, the health board offers its reassurance that second doses will not be delayed and will be given within the required timeframe.
“People in group 3, those aged 75 to 79, because they attended a mass vaccination centre for their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech can expect to be contacted soon for their second dose. The schedule for the second dose interval for the Pfizer-BioNtech differs from the Oxford-AstraZeneca and is administered before 12 weeks.”
Research evidence indicates that a single dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 76% effective 3–12 weeks after the vaccine was administered and an interval of 12 weeks interval indicates 81% effectiveness.
Please do not contact the health board or your GP practice to ask if a scheduled appointment is going ahead or to enquire when you will receive a vaccine. People will be contacted when it is their turn. Please only make contact if you need to rearrange or cancel an appointment.
Jill Paterson Director of Primary Care, Community and Long Term Care at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “GP practices across the three counties have been working extremely hard over the past three months to deliver a vaccine programme on a scale never seen before.
“GPs will ensure care home residents, those aged over 80 and people aged 70 to 74 receive their second Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine appointment in the timescales planned to offer maximum protection. We are confident that supplies of this vaccine allow us to do this while also ensuring those in priority group 6 receive their first vaccine dose.”
People in priority groups 7, 8 and 9 (everyone aged 50 to 64 with no underlying health concerns) can expect to receive their appointment to attend their nearest mass vaccination centre by the 18th April.
The health board will ensure no one is left behind and will invite people to make themselves known if they have not received a vaccine appointment before the national milestone 2 deadline of 18 April. Further information about how people can do this this will be issued in early April.