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Vaccination newsletter 2nd February 2021

A picture of a vaccine

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly newsletter, 2nd 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.

Latest figures – correct as of 7pm on Monday, February 1st

Running total: 54,702

Vaccinated by GP practices: 21,171

Breakdown
  • More than 90% of care home residents in this health board area have been vaccinated and all those who were eligible have been offered an appointment, meaning there are a small number left to vaccinate over the next two weeks. Please note vaccination may have been temporarily delayed for care home residents who are very unwell or currently have or have very recently had Covid symptoms as there needs to be a four week gap between the onset of Covid symptoms and vaccination.
  • 79% of the over 80s group – 16,471 people out of a total number of 20,736 - have been vaccinated so far.
  • 73% of the over 75s – 11,066 out of 15,098 – have been vaccinated so far.
  • It means we are on course to hit the milestone of reaching everyone in the JCVI priority groups one to four - over 70s, care home residents, frontline health and social care workers and those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable/shielding - by mid February.
Latest news
  • An urgent message regarding Covid vaccination appointments in Swansea Bay. We have experienced a sharp rise in the number of people failing to turn up for their appointments at our Mass Vaccination Centres.

By 2pm on Monday, February 1, there had been 60 DNAs (did not attend) at the Bay Field Hospital alone. Overall yesterday 6.5% of people booked in at the Bay did not attend.

These appointments had not been cancelled with the booking centre.

Faced with mounting spare vaccines which had to be used yesterday or thrown away, our staff volunteered to stay late to use up the vaccine on people called in at very short notice from our reserve list.

PLEASE contact our booking centre (the number is on your appointment letter) if you cannot make your appointment or do not want the vaccine.

But DO NOT ring this number – or any other contact centre number shared on social media and via text – if you have not been given an appointment and are not in the correct priority group. You will not get an appointment this way.

  • We have begun vaccinating patients on the shielding list. They are also known as clinically extremely vulnerable or CEV. Most of this group will be called for vaccination by their GP practice, however there are some variations. In just a week, we have already vaccinated 27% of this group – 2,405 out of 8,775. These are people under 70 years of age.

If you or a loved one are in this group and haven’t yet had an appointment, here is an explanation of how you will be called:

Where you go will depend mainly on your age, or what GP practice you belong to. All surgeries in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot - except Dyfed Road, Neath and University practices - will be vaccinating people on their lists in the shielding/CEV group.  However, the arrangements are slightly different if you are aged 75-79.

Shielding/CEV adults aged up to age 74: You will be called by your GP within the next three weeks. Please be patient, as GPs are vaccinating people aged over 80 first.

Shielding/CEV adults aged 75-79: Because we are already vaccinating this age group as a whole in our mass vaccination centres, you may have already received an invitation this way. If this happens, you have a choice. You can attend your mass vaccination centre appointment, or if you prefer, you can cancel that one and wait for an appointment from your GP. If you want to change appointments, please let us know by contacting the number on your appointment letter. (Note: the option to switch is only available for this age group.)

Shielding/CEV adults who attend the Dyfed Road, Neath or University practices: These two surgeries will not be vaccinating this group of patients. We will be making special arrangements for you to receive your vaccinations, and will be in touch very soon.

Also, there are other people with underlying health issues who are typically offered a flu vaccine each year. This group will not have received a letter from Welsh Government to indicate that they are shielding.  They will receive their vaccinations in the spring, after the people who are vulnerable because of their age, or because they are shielding/CEV, have been vaccinated.

  • Improvements to the Mass Vaccination Centre at the Bay Field Hospital and transport access. Following feedback we have made and are planning a number of improvements to this site.

Our partners at Neath Port Talbot Council have put up extra directional signs on surrounding roads to make the centre easier to find. We have an extra car park attendant, now four in total, to improve the safety of patients walking from the car park to the entrance door.

Better organisation within the centre means queuing has been drastically reduced. In the event that people have to wait, large indoor seating areas have now been made available. However, we have designed the system to avoid any sort of queues where possible, encouraging people to wait in their cars until it is their turn.

We are also planning to resurface the walkway from the car park and improve lighting.

We’ve also had some great news from First Cymru Buses which is now running a free service for patients every 20 minutes between Bay D at Swansea Bus Station and the Bay Field Hospital between 8am and 8pm.

But please be aware there will be quite a long walk from the bus drop off and pick up point as the bus will be dropping off at the entrance to the main hospital and not outside the vaccination centre at the moment. We are looking at what we can do to get a closer drop off point and will update you shortly.

  • 1,000 vaccines a day being delivered from this week at Margam Orangery Mass Vaccination Centre. Margam is open for six days this week, Canolfan Gorseinon Centre is open for three days from this Thursday and the Bay Field Hospital MVC is open seven days a week. We can assure you we are making full use of all the vaccine available to us.
  • Here comes the Immbulance. We know some people with mobility problems and those in more remote communities will find it hard to make it to one of our Mass Vaccination Centres (MVCs) or even their GP surgery or community venue for vaccination. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they are housebound and need to be vaccinated at home. Enter the Immbulance, a former library on wheels which has been converted into a mobile vaccination clinic by colleagues at Neath Port Talbot Council. In what is believed to be a first for Wales, the Immbulance will park up in a convenient location and provide the Oxford vaccination by appointment to those in priority groups. We’re very excited about how this will help us reach even more people as our vaccination roll out continues to expand. Details on where we’ll be taking the Immbulance will be revealed shortly.

We have included before and after pictures of the Immbulance below. The top image shows a large vehicle, which is approximately six metres long by three metres wide, painted white with Mobile Library written on the side. The bottom image shows the same vehicle newly painted in a light blue colour with images of viruses and a syringe on the side along with the title Immbulance, Mobile Vaccination Unit.

An image of the new mobile vaccination unit called the imbulance

  • From Albanian to Zulu. The Welsh Government has provided us with a list of links to the latest guidance and services for Covid vaccination in Wales on their website in multiple languages. It is a PDF document which has been attached to this email and also uploaded to the Covid section on our health board website. Go to this page on our website for the links to the translated information.

 

  • Vaccinations for carers – a clarification: In last week’s newsletter we stated that if you are a carer, then providing you are in receipt of attendance allowance, you are eligible for the vaccine. That was incorrect and should have stated carer’s allowance. We are sorry for any confusion. The Welsh Government has also now confirmed that unpaid carers will be in priority group 6, which means they will be vaccinated some time during the spring.

 

That’s all for this week. Many thanks for reading. We’ll catch up again next week.

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