Wales’ Covid vaccination rollout will be integrated into existing routine immunization programs such as flu, Wales’ health minister has announced.
Work is underway on the changes under which there will eventually be no more mass Covid vaccination centres.
There still are no plans to give Covid jabs in schools although some other vaccines are part of the general vaccine program given in schools.
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A National Immunization Framework, part of the Welsh Government’s updated Covid-19 vaccination strategy, published today (Thursday, February 24), sets out plans for 2022.
The framework will cover all of Wales’ vaccination programs including Covid-19 and flu and aims “to encourage high levels of uptake, reduce mortality, ensure equity of access and opportunity, effective deployment and provide value for money”.
The elderly, vulnerable and those at greatest risk will continue to be a priority for vaccination.
On child vaccination it says: “NHS Wales has already begun to plan the delivery of this program to secure pediatric trained vaccinators and child-friendly vaccination centres.
“Health boards are building on their learning from the vaccination of clinically at risk five to 11-year-olds and 12 to 15-year-olds and are considering carefully how to ensure equity from the outset.
“Children have lost a significant amount of learning time during the pandemic and, to ensure vaccine deployment does not unduly disrupt children’s education further, there is no intention to vaccinate in schools.”
To date more than 6.8m doses of Covid vaccinations have been given in Wales with more than 91 per cent of over-12s vaccinated with at least one dose; 86 per cent with at least two doses and 70 per cent with a third dose and/or a booster.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “Throughout the pandemic, primary care has maintained high levels of routine vaccine protection in children under one year old maintaining uptake rates of more than 95 per cent. The school health service continues to deliver the school vaccination program in a challenging environment.
“Vaccines have had an enormous impact on the course of the pandemic and have helped to weaken the link between the virus, serious illness, hospitalizations and death. They have saved countless lives and given us the freedom and confidence to restart our lives in the midst of an ongoing global health emergency.
“This strategy sets out our plans for 2022 and beyond, including a commitment to deliver a regular Covid-19 vaccination program while planning for any potential surge capacity, should we need to, in the case of a new pandemic wave or a new coronavirus variant .”
Mrs Morgan has also previously announced an Autumn booster campaign for 2022, with the details of how that will work yet to be confirmed.
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