Almost 2,000 Covid booster doses are being given every day by Swansea Bay University Health Board to the top priority groups.
The 30,000 dose mark was due to be achieved on Friday, October 22nd, which is 16% of all boosters that need to be given across our health board area.
Older adults, care home residents, people who are housebound and health and social care staff are currently being scheduled for boosters as staff move down through the eligible groups.
Due to the ongoing pressures on GPs and the fact that they are rolling out an enhanced flu vaccination programme, the vast majority of the boosters are being given by the health board.
Those who are eligible for the booster, where more than six months has passed since their second dose, will be sent an appointment letter by the health board in due course. This is regardless of whether their first two vaccinations were given by their GP surgery. A small number of patients may be contacted by their GP practice.
Appointment letters are being sent out in chronological order from the date the second dose was given, so people might hear of some younger family members and friends having theirs first.
Many people are being called to one of the mass vaccination or local vaccination centres (converted shipping containers placed out in the community), while others are being vaccinated in their own home or residential home.
Some community pharmacies will also be giving boosters in the near future.
There is no need to ring the health board or local GP surgery for an appointment.
The health board is also reminding the public that six months is the minimum time from the second dose to when they become eligible for a booster, so they will not be overdue if they pass this point.
Immunity from the first two doses will remain at a good level although protection does reduce slightly over time, which is why the booster programme is in place.
However, as with other parts of the NHS, the Bay Mass Vaccination Centre has been affected by Covid-related absence – not necessarily staff who are ill but have instead been close contacts and require testing – which has impacted on waiting times for some people.
The health board is also balancing the booster programme with the continued roll out of first and second doses and third doses for the immunosuppressed, as well as the restarting of services and the roll out of the schools flu vaccination programme.
“We’d like to thank the public for their continued support and patience as we make our way through another extremely busy period for our vaccination programme and the wider health board,” said Louise Platt, Head of Operations for the Covid vaccination programme in Swansea Bay.
“I’d also like to put on record my sincere thanks to our vaccination centre staff and immunisers who are going above and beyond, even staying late to ensure we honour all appointments.
“We’ve also taken on board feedback from older people who would prefer not to attend our MVCs after dark and will work to schedule them during the day where possible.”
The public can also play their part by:
Our booking team can be contacted on 01792 200492 or 01639 862323 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Try to avoid calling first thing in the morning or at lunchtime when lines can be very busy. Our team are working hard to answer all calls.