Posted: Wed 23rd Jun 2021

Health board hopes people in North Wales who have refused Covid jab will ‘change mind’ due to threat of Delta variant

North Wales news and information

Health officials have expressed their hope that people in North Wales who have refused to have the Covid jab will change their minds in light of the threat posed by the Delta variant.

Almost half a million people in the region have now had their first dose of the vaccine, with more than 338,000 receiving both.

The level of uptake of the coronavirus jab is currently at least 80 per cent in all age groups above the age of 40.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it was also making steady progress in providing first doses to those aged 30-39 (62 per cent take up) and 18-29 (71 per cent take up).

It is now aiming for at least 75 per cent uptake in each eligible age group, in order to achieve a level of community protection which would allow a return to normality.

To reach this minimum target, it needs to provide a first dose to an additional 10,173 people aged 30-39 and 8,609 people aged 18-29.

Providing an update on the latest progress with the vaccination roll out, Ffion Johnstone, the health board’s area director for the west of North Wales, said: “In the coming week we will be writing to approximately 80,000 people who have not received a first dose.

“This will include those who have previously told us that they do not wish to be vaccinated.

“We hope that some of these people have changed their mind, because of the new threat posed by the Delta variant.

“We are also using adverts on social media, radio and the local press to encourage people to come forward.

“According to latest data from Public Health England, a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine reduces a person’s chances of catching coronavirus and needing hospital treatment by about 75 per cent, even with Delta circulating.

“And among people who had received the recommended two doses, the chances of catching and being hospitalised by coronavirus was reduced by more than 90 per cent.

“Our online booking service has made it easier than ever to book a first or second dose appointment at a convenient date, time and location.”

In the last week alone, more than 108,000 people have visited the service.

Vaccination clinics are being held in locations across North Wales and by the end of this week, the board will have added appointments available until August.

Ms Johnstone said: “In recent weeks we have significantly increased the speed at which we are administering second doses, in response to the threat posed by the Delta variant.

“Please remember, if a minimum of eight weeks have passed since you had your first dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, you can book a second dose appointment for the same brand vaccine using our online booking service.

“Already have a second dose appointment booked and wish to bring it forward using our online booking service

“There is no need to contact us to cancel your original appointment – our records will automatically update.

“If you cannot access the internet to book online, please phone our COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Centre on 03000 840004. The lines can be very busy, so please be patient.”

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