Guest Article – Gill Harris – Executive Director of Integrated Clinical Delivery
We have now delivered more than 1.5 million vaccinations to people living or working in North Wales.
This significant milestone was reached this week and is a testament the continued hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers who have made the vaccination programme a success. We would like to once again thank everyone for their support on behalf of the people of North Wales.
We have now administered a booster jab to more than 80 per cent of those eligible. All of this has been critical in our response to the pandemic so far to protect our communities and NHS services against COVID-19.
Vaccinating 5 to 11 year olds in clinical risk groups or who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed
The JCVI has recommended offering two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 5 to 11 year olds with certain underlying health conditions and those who are a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed.
In the first instance we will be contacting those children with underlying health conditions, about 2,000 across North Wales, by telephone from this week to arrange appointment, which we expect to start delivering from 23 January.
Where possible, these appointments will be arranged in a familiar setting, such as a children’s outpatient department in one of our hospitals.
We also need to know of any children in the 5 to 11year old cohort that are living with an immunosuppressed person for the majority of the week, i.e. 4 days in 7 or more as they will also need to be offered a vaccination. This can be done when contact is made to arrange an appointment, or by completing our online form which we will validate and be in contact to arrange an appointment.
If anyone thinks their child is in a clinical risk group and has not been contacted they can leave their details with our Contact Centre on 03000 840004 for that eligibility to be checked.
Appeal to pregnant women
We are once again appealing to pregnant women to come forward for their COVID-19 vaccine. For any mother to be, getting their first, second and booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most important things they can do to protect themselves and their unborn baby against coronavirus and, particularly against the new omicron variant.
Based on the data about safety, together with the increased risk from COVID-19 the JCVI has advised that pregnant women should be considered as a clinical risk group.
Third doses for those who are immunosuppressed
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have previously announced that individuals who are immunosuppressed should receive a third primary dose of vaccination.
We have been working closely with clinicians to identify relevant individuals and determine whether a third or booster dose needs to be administered at a specific point within their treatment cycles, or whether there is a need to delay medication in order to ensure the greatest positive immune response to the vaccine.
The majority of those identified do not need specific timing and they will receive a letter of appointment for their third primary dose.
If they have already had a booster, this will be amended on their record to a third primary dose and they will be invited for a booster at least six months later.
We are continuing to work closely with our clinicians to invite those that require a specific timing based on their treatment and/or medication schedule.
Get your jab today – don’t delay any longer
You are always welcome if you change your mind to come forwards and be vaccinated, we still have the staff in place and vaccines available for people who haven’t had their first, second, third or booster doses. It is important to make sure you protect yourself, your families and our NHS services from COVID-19 so we would urge to book their appointments as soon as possible.
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