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Welsh over-50s to receive Covid vaccine by spring, as Scotland mobilises army


Whiplash


All over 50s and those considered clinically vulnerable in Wales will have been offered a Covid-19 vaccine by the spring ‘subject to supply’, according to a vaccine strategy unveiled last week.

And the document said that ‘all’ primary care contractors will play a ‘pivotal’ role in vaccine deployment.

‘GP practices and pharmacies, in particular, are experts at running immunisation programmes and have the existing infrastructure to do so, it said.

Meanwhile, from last week, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine ‘is being provided at primary care clinics’, in ‘addition to those clinics already providing the Pfizer vaccine’, the Welsh plan added.

The vaccine rollout plan also said that ‘every dose’ of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine allocated to Wales is being delivered directly to GPs, pharmacies and hospitals ‘as soon as it is available’. 

The document added: ‘To date we have received relatively small volumes. We know many GPs and others are ready and able to use as much of this vaccine as can be supplied by UK Government.

‘Whilst we are confident supply will increase significantly in the next few weeks, if we had more we could increase coverage rapidly.’

It comes as Scotland – where health boards are leading their local vaccination efforts – has called in the British army to set up vaccination centres, in an exercise that was branded the ‘largest peacetime resilience operation ever undertaken by the UK Armed Forces’.

Ninety-eight soldiers, mainly from the Leuchars-based Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, will support NHS Scotland over the next 28 days, the Government said.

The military team from Fife ‘will survey suggested sites for suitability, then organise car parking and traffic flow systems, establish patient recording methods and practices, facilitate vaccine delivery to the sites, prepare storage for medicines and equipment, and conduct a smooth handover to NHS Scotland’, the announcement said.

A version of this article was first published by Pulse’s sister title the Pharmacist