Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has started the second phase of the vaccination programme after having achieved its target of giving over 100,000 vaccines to the top four priority groups.
The next phase will see the health board aiming to offer a first dose vaccine to approximately 120,000 people who are in groups five to nine by the end of April.
Running simultaneously to this, the health board’s vaccination teams and primary care colleagues will be giving second doses to residents and staff in older adult care homes, frontline health and social care workers, all of the over 70s and clinically extremely vulnerable patients.
GPs will be contacting group five i.e. all those who are 65 and over to offer them a vaccine appointment at their local surgery.
Once group five is finished, GPs and Cwm Taf Morgannwg will move straight on to group six, and do the same for them. Group six is defined as ‘all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk’.
Once groups five and six are complete, GPs will move onto offering second dose appointments for the over 75s and their clinically extremely vulnerable patients.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg’s mobile vaccination teams are already back out revisiting care homes for older adults and offering residents and staff their second doses.
The health board’s four existing community vaccination centres are temporarily closed. This was planned, as during this period work will begin on opening three additional community vaccination centres (CVCs) taking the total across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg region to seven.
It has always been the health board’s intention to bring the vaccine closer to people’s homes, with the seven CVCs part of the plan. In Bridgend county borough they will open from March 1 and be in Bridgend and Maesteg. They will begin by administering the second dose to frontline social care workers and the 70 to 74 year olds who all went to a CVC for their first dose. When those groups have been completed, the CVCs will then begin to vaccinate groups seven, eight and nine which is all those aged 50 and over.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg’s frontline staff will be receiving their second dose in the hospital vaccination centres where they had their first.
It is the health board’s new target to complete all nine groups by the end of April.
The health board is asking anyone within the top four priority groups – i.e. care home residents and staff, people aged 80 and over, frontline health and social care workers, people aged 75 and over, and people who are aged 70 and over and clinically extremely vulnerable – who have not yet received a vaccination appointment to contact them using an online form. The form, which is available at the Cwm Taf website, asks people to identify which priority group they belong to, and to submit some contact details. They will then be contacted directly with details on how they can receive a dose of the vaccine.
For anyone in priority groups one to four who are unable to fill in the online form please call 01443 562264. This phone number is only for those people who are in the top four priority groups who have yet to receive their first dose vaccine.
To prevent abuse of the system, people are being reminded that the vaccine is free to receive – remain alert for scammers, do not hand over any money, banking details or confidential information to callers, and report any suspicious behaviour.
As of Monday, February 15 the total number of vaccines was 106,496 of which 2,348 are second doses. This means 104,148 people in groups 1 to 4 have received their first dose of vaccine.
The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “The Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board website and Public Health Wales website are offering responses to frequently asked questions on the issue of the vaccine, and a dedicated helpline and email have been set up to assist people with any enquiries. These can be accessed by calling 01685 726464 between 10am-4.30pm Monday to Friday, or emailing CTM.VaccinationEnquiries@wales.nhs.uk.
“Please be patient – your surgery will be in touch with you when it is your turn. Do not contact your GP practice to ask when you will have your vaccine – as patients in priority groups become eligible, they will be notified of their appointment by their surgery in the normal way they are contacted, i.e. telephone call, letter or text message.
“Mobile testing also remains available within the county borough, and residents are urged to make use of this free service if they experience any of the symptoms associated with coronavirus. A drive-through mobile testing facility is currently available between 9am-4pm at the Halo Swimming Pool in Pyle (CF33 6RP), and a walk-through testing facility remains in place between 8am-8pm at the Bowls Hall car park off Bridgend Life Centre (CF31 4AH). Don’t forget that booking for both facilities is essential and can be arranged by visiting the Welsh Government website or calling 119. People with hearing or speech difficulties can book an appointment by calling 18001119.”