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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.

Vaccination newsletter 27th of July 2021

Close up of a vial labelled Covid vaccine held between two fingers on a gloved hand.

The heatwave put extra strain on our already-busy services, particularly the emergency department (A&E) at Morriston Hospital, and this pressure continues.

We need to prevent hospital admissions wherever we can now and going forward into what is predicted to be a very challenging winter.

You can help by ensuring you, your family members and friends all take up the offer of the Covid vaccination and get the second dose.

If you know someone is reluctant but you’ve had the vaccine yourself, why not have a chat with them about their feelings and explain why you made your choice.

Staff in our vaccination centres are also available on drop-in days for no obligation and no judgement chats about the merits of vaccination.

Analysis by Public Health England has shown that two doses are highly effective (96% for Pfizer and 92% for Oxford-AstraZeneca) against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.

And while no vaccine is 100% effective and it’s true some people will only get mild symptoms, even the fittest people can get a bad case of Covid, so why risk finding out the hard way if you’re one?

Also, even some people with mild symptoms can develop long Covid, where fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches and difficulty concentrating go on long after the initial infection.

 

Latest figures

Please note: Figures correct as of 10am on Tuesday, July 27th. These figures are for the Swansea Bay University Health Board area, not the whole of Wales.

1st dose: 277,711

2nd dose: 245,790

Doses given in GP practices (first and second doses): 120,863

Running total (1st and 2nd doses): 523,501

Go to YouTube to watch a special video featuring our staff which was produced to mark the 500,000 doses milestone.

 

Latest news

 

Vaccinating under 18s The Welsh Government, along with the other UK nations, has agreed that more young people will now be eligible for the vaccination following new recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The JCVI has not recommended routine vaccination of all 12 to 17 year olds because of the low risk posed by Covid to most people of this age. However, this will be kept under review.

In line with the new advice we have begun vaccinating those aged from 17 years and nine months. No one younger than this is eligible for routine vaccination.

This will be done on a rolling basis with our booking team identifying and texting those who become eligible, inviting them to book in for vaccination.

Those eligible can also use our drop-in sessions, see below.

**Children aged 12 to 15 who have severe neuro disabilities, Down's syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities OR who live with an adult with a weakened immune system are also now eligible for vaccination. 

Work is underway by our team to identify these children and we’ll update you on the arrangements for vaccination as soon as possible.

 

Drop-in sessions The next first dose Pfizer drop-in sessions for ages 17 years and nine months to 39 are taking place at the Bay Field Hospital MVC this Saturday, July 31st, and Sunday August 1st between 10am and 6pm.

Further sessions are planned for Saturday, August 7th and Sunday, August 8th, again between 10am and 6pm at the Bay Field Hospital.

 

Changes to free bus service for Bay Field Hospital Until Friday, September 3rd, 2021, the 9a free bus service to the Bay Field Hospital will be dropping off and picking up passengers from the main site entrance on Ffordd Amazon. This is due to new height restrictions as a result of filming on site, which is beyond our control.

Unfortunately this means there is now a short distance to travel between the bus stop and the Mass Vaccination Centre.

Service 9A runs from Bay D Swansea Bus Station to Bay Field Hospital every 20 minutes from 7.25am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday.

Go to this page on the First Cymru website to see the timetable.

 

Young adults warned of long Covid risk Young adults in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot are being warned about the risk of developing long Covid if they do not get vaccinated.

Getting two doses of the Covid-19 vaccination is one of the best ways to protect yourself against Covid-19 - and experiencing symptoms long term (known as long Covid).

While young adults are less likely to get seriously ill if they test positive for Covid-19, around one in 10 18 to 49-year-olds go on to develop long-term symptoms after having the virus, regardless of how unwell they were initially.

The most common long Covid symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle ache and difficulty concentrating.

Go to this page on our website to read more about the long Covid warning to young adults.

 

Drive-through vaccination A drive-through pilot project has seen 135 people get their second dose of a Covid vaccination from the comfort of their own vehicles.

The appointment-only scheme, which was held at Margam Park’s east lodge car park on the 15th of July, is the next step in our work to make vaccines as convenient and easy to access as possible in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

Go to this page on our website to read more about the drive through pilot scheme.

 

Still got questions about vaccination? Our Three-Minute Myth Buster – below – gives you the facts at your fingertips.

 

Myth 1: The vaccines are experimental.

Fact: All vaccines completed clinical trials and were deemed safe. But the safety monitoring of these vaccines continues, which is what normally happens with new vaccines. Some claims on the internet use these study end dates (2023 for Pfizer) but fail to give this proper context.

 

Myth 2: The vaccines change your DNA.

Fact: This is a misconception around how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which use new technology called mRNA, work.

While the vaccines carry a small part of the genetic instructions of the coronavirus (not the whole virus) to help your body learn to fight it off, these messenger instructions cannot be combined with your DNA and are destroyed by the body soon after they are used.

 

Myth 3: The vaccines can give you Covid.

Fact: Untrue because they do not contain an active form of the virus. Any temporary side-effects you may have (not all people get them) is just the natural response of your own immune system, reacting as if it was fighting a real virus.

 

Myth 4: I’m better off letting my immune system fight off the virus.

Fact: No vaccines offer 100% protection. But after two doses the current vaccines offer very good protection against Covid overall. And they are highly effective (96% for Pfizer and 92% for Oxford-AstraZeneca) against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.

Remember, even the fittest people can get a bad case of Covid, so why risk finding out the hard way if you’re one?

Also, even some people with mild symptoms can develop long Covid, where fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches and difficulty concentrating go on long after the initial infection.

 

Myth 5: The vaccines make women infertile.

Fact: There is no evidence to support this claim and no mechanism by which the vaccines could harm a woman’s fertility. A myth that circulated on the internet speculated that a spike protein on the coronavirus, which is attacked by the antibodies produced by a vaccinated person, is similar to a protein found in the placenta. However, this is untrue. They are not similar enough for there to be any cause for concern.

 

Myth 6: The vaccines cause impotence in men.

Fact: This myth has gained a lot of publicity but it is natural Covid infection and long Covid which are associated with erectile dysfunction in men. There have been no reports of impotence linked to vaccination and vaccination is recommended as a protection against this side-effect of Covid infection.

 

That’s all for this week. Many thanks for reading.

 

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