Face masks and social distancing: Due to the rising prevalence of COVID-19 in our communities, we strongly encourage healthcare staff and visitors to wear a face covering in all of our settings, particularly in clinical areas and those with high footfall. Please exercise a common-sense approach and personal responsibility to help us reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our patients, workforce and services. In addition to wearing a face covering, it is important to continue to maintain social distancing where possible. Thank you for your continued support and co-operation at this time. We continue to regularly review our advice based on prevalence in our communities and our hospitals.
Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly newsletter, 23rd of February 2021, which brings you up to date with where we are with the roll out of the Covid vaccines across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.
Please note: Figures correct as of 10am on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021. These figures are for the Swansea Bay University Health Board area, not the whole of Wales.
1st dose: 98,700
2nd dose: 6,425
Doses given in GP practices (first doses): 32,000
Running total (1st and 2nd doses): 105,125
A quarter (1 in 4) of the people living in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot have now received their first dose.
Group 6 vaccinations start soon. Invitations will shortly be going out to people aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions. Also being vaccinated as part of group 6 are eligible unpaid carers. We’ve compiled a brief FAQ below to explain more:
When will people in group 6 be vaccinated?
Vaccinations to this group will begin in early March and continue throughout the month.
Where will people in group 6 be vaccinated?
The majority of GP practices in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot will be vaccinating those in group 6. But please do not contact your practice to ask for an appointment. You will be contacted with your appointment.
If you are in group 6 and registered with a practice that is NOT vaccinating this group, you will receive an appointment for an alternative venue such as one of our Mass Vaccination Centres. Again, there is no need to contact your GP surgery. We will update our website shortly and advise on the practices who are offering vaccinations to those in group 6.
How will unpaid carers be identified?
Unpaid adult carers who are on their GP surgery’s carers list will automatically be invited for vaccination under group 6. If your practice is not vaccinating those in group 6, don’t worry as we’ll ensure that you are invited. Welsh Government guidance is due to be released later this week.
Those who are not currently registered on a carers’ list SHOULD NOT contact their GP now. They will need to fill in an online form or to contact us by telephone. If they are eligible they will receive an appointment.
We will shortly be releasing details of how to contact us during the first week of March.
Who is eligible under group 6?
Those who have underlying health conditions including but not limited to: severe asthma that requires continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission, COPD, chronic heart, vascular, kidney and liver disease, stroke, dementia, other neurological diseases, both types of diabetes, morbid obesity and severe mental illness.
Please note this list is a shortened version of that published by the Government in the Green Book. Go to this page to access the full Green Book chapter and see page 10.
Unpaid adult carers don’t need to be claiming carer’s allowance or be registered as an unpaid carer with their GP surgery in order to qualify for vaccination. But they do need to be eligible for carer’s allowance and be the only or main carer for someone who is so vulnerable they are at increased risk of dying from Covid. This includes children under 16 with complex medical and neurological needs or challenging behaviour.
Carers who qualify will provide lots of personal care and supervision either at home or in the community where social distancing isn’t possible. This can include helping someone with washing, going to the toilet, dressing, walking, eating and coping with challenging behaviour. You will not be eligible if the care you provide is solely shopping, help with money or emotional support where social distancing can be maintained.
For adults caring for children under 16, the care provided must go beyond that normally provided by parents.
In line with JCVI guidance, young carers under 16 will not be offered vaccination.
Please note this is not the full criteria and guidance. This will be published shortly on our website once it has been released by Welsh Government.
Immbulance trial begins. You may remember a few weeks ago we told you about our mobile vaccination centre, which we call the Immbulance. It’s a converted mobile library which will take vaccinations out to those who aren’t housebound but have difficulty getting to a Mass Vaccination Centre or GP surgery for vaccination.
On Thursday and Friday this week the Immbulance will be on trial outside The Guildhall, Swansea, ahead of its full roll out.
We’ll let you know next week how it went.
That’s all for this week. Many thanks for reading.
We’ll catch up again next week.