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.
There’s been a huge amount in the news about the proposed end of Covid restrictions in England later this month. But any changes to restrictions in Wales will be decided and announced by the Welsh Government next week.
Many of us are eager for things to finally get back to normal, but we can’t forget that cases of the Delta variant, now the dominant strain in Wales, continue to rise.
This week the Welsh Government’s chief scientific advisor for health, Dr Rob Orford, described the situation as a race between the growth of the Delta variant and the vaccines – which will determine how soon we can “live with Covid”.
He said vaccine uptake will make a big difference going forward and urged young people in particular to “grab the opportunity” of getting jabbed to protect themselves and others, despite the lower risk of being seriously ill.
So, as we have been doing for the last few weeks, we will be offering people aged 18 to 39 the chance to get their first dose Pfizer vaccine at drop-in sessions over three consecutive weekends at the Bay Field Hospital Mass Vaccination Centre. Details below.
We’ve also got a few other pieces of news to tell you about, so let’s get started.
Please note: Figures correct as of 2.30pm on Thursday, July 8th. These figures are for the Swansea Bay University Health Board area, not the whole of Wales.
1st dose: 275,703
2nd dose: 219,210
Doses given in GP practices (first and second doses): 120,506
Running total (1st and 2nd doses): 494,913
First dose drop-in sessions Our next scheduled Pfizer first dose drop ins for ages 18 to 39 at the Bay Field Hospital MVC are listed below. Please note:
New number for Bay Field Hospital bus The First Cymru bus which runs from Swansea city centre bus station to the field hospital has become part of Service 9A for Fabian Way Park & Ride. It is still a FREE service. The bus was previously number 51.
Service 9A runs from bay D in the bus station to Bay Field Hospital every 20 minutes from 7.25am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday.
Service 51 will run as required when the Bay Field Hospital is open on Sunday and bank holiday Monday.
Super Saturday for the Immbulance More than 130 people, including some from vulnerable groups, were vaccinated as part of a special event featuring our Immbulance mobile vaccination unit on Saturday, July 3rd.
Organised in partnership with Swansea Council, City Church Swansea and BAME Mental Health Support, the event saw the Immbulance vaccinate those 40+ with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the City Church compound on Dyfatty Street in Swansea. Those under 40 were given free transport to the Bay Mass Vaccination Centre to receive the Pfizer vaccine, in line with JCVI recommendations. The transport was kindly provided by BAME Mental Health Support.
The event is part of our ongoing work to give everyone who is eligible, no matter what their circumstances, a chance to receive the Covid vaccination.
We were delighted the event was so well attended, especially by members of the migrant community.
Partners from Swansea Takes On Period Poverty (STOPP) were on hand at City Church to give out sanitary products.
BAME Mental Health Support also transported 18 people to the Bay for vaccination on Sunday.
Swansea Bay University Health Board would like to thank everyone involved for their support and dedication, particularly Alfred Oyekoya of BAME Mental Health Support.
Booster programme Swansea Bay University Health Board and the whole of NHS Wales has been planning a booster campaign for some time against a range of possible scenarios. The release of JCVI interim guidance provides a guide as to how a booster campaign might look, but no final decisions on the booster campaign have yet been taken by ministers.
The JCVI interim advice issued on Wednesday, June 30th, highlights that there is a risk of further waves of Covid in winter and that increasing influenza vaccine uptake is another important tool to countering the impact of respiratory viruses on vulnerable people.
JCVI suggests that a booster campaign offering a single booster dose should commence in September to provide additional protection to the most vulnerable groups – the previous priority groups 1-4 - including:
A second phase would extend the offer to all adults over 50, frontline health and social care workers and those aged 16 to 49 at increased risk and the households of immunosuppressed people.
It’s not yet known which brand of vaccine or vaccines will be used.
The booster might be given at the same time as the flu vaccine, however, further work is underway to understand whether people find this acceptable. There may also be practical barriers to this approach.
The JCVI is expected to release final advice, but not until late August. We will only be able to give detail of how the booster will be rolled out in the Swansea Bay area when decisions have been made that are informed by that final advice. Until then we continue to plan for a range of possible booster vaccination approaches.
Turning tragedy into action A Singleton Hospital worker has enlisted the help of her colleagues to tell people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities about the importance of taking the Covid-19 vaccination.
After losing two friends to the virus, Grace Manuputty, who works in the Domestic Department and is the Black Officer for Unison’s Swansea branch, felt driven to take action.
She asked colleagues who are members of Minority Ethnic communities, to take part in a series of photographs holding caption cards to explain why they chose to take the vaccine when it was offered. Reasons included ‘I have to protect myself, my family, my patients and protect the public’, ‘this is the only way to beat Covid-19 for good’, and ‘because of the proven efficacy in trials’.
GP surgeries thanked Our resilient and dedicated GP surgeries have been thanked for helping deliver the successful vaccination programme.
The vast majority of local surgeries rolled up their sleeves - along with those of tens of thousands of patients - and helped administer Covid vaccinations to the most vulnerable when they needed them most.
While the health board set up three mass vaccination centres, help was needed for those who may have found travel quite difficult.
Enter our surgeries. Targeting those in the most at-risk groups, along with care home residents and their carers, they have vaccinated more than 120,000 people since the programme began, over a quarter of all those vaccinated in Swansea Bay.
Still curious about Covid vaccination? We get lots of questions about the vaccination roll out in the Swansea Bay area and the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, so we have compiled those asked frequently along with the answers on our website.
That’s all for this week. Many thanks for reading.