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COVID-19 Vaccination Newsletter 1 June 2021 (html version)

Dear Colleagues

Well over 100,000 people have now received their first dose through the COVID-19 vaccination programme here in Powys. We would like to thank everyone for taking up the offer of vaccination, as this is a vital step to Keep Powys Safe.

This does mean that we need everyone aged 18+ who still wishes to have their COVID-19 vaccination to contact us. The simplest way to do this is using our online form at

Please help spread the word to everyone who has not yet had the first dose, to help ensure we leave no one behind.

Here are the latest headlines:

  • Over 55,000 people in Powys have received their second dose. This is nearly half of the adult population. Double dose protection is vital to help reduce the chances of serious illness from COVID-19. This is particularly important with new variants spreading across the UK. Second dose appointments will normally be 11-12 weeks after your first dose, and you will receive an invitation shortly before it is due. If you do not receive an invitation for a second dose appointment 11-12 weeks after your first dose then you can contact us and we will fast-track you to an appointment: Second Dose Appointments - Powys Teaching Health Board (
  • Over 90% of the adult population in Powys has already received their first dose, and nearly half have double dose protection.

COVID-19 vaccination in Powys has always been a major team effort, and this was recognised in 21 May when our COVID-19 Vaccination Volunteers won the “Community Group of the Year” category in the Montgomeryshire Community Awards. Well done and thank you to all of our volunteers for supporting the vaccination programme over the last six months.

Coronavirus continues to circulate. There is good evidence that the vaccine prevents serious illness from COVID-19, but we all need to assume that we can catch the virus and transmit it even if we have had the vaccine.

Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air remain vital messages to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Thank you for everything you are doing to Keep Powys Safe – and please do feel free to share this information in your organisations, networks and communities.

Completing our first dose appointments for people aged 18+

If you know anyone aged 18+ and registered with a Powys GP who have not received their first dose, then please ask them to get in touch so that we can offer them an appointment.

The national goal across the UK is to offer first dose vaccination to everyone aged 18+ by the end of July. But, we are two months ahead of schedule, as letters have already been sent to all adults registered with a GP in the county.

We recognise that our clinical systems will not always have your latest address and contact details. So, anyone aged 18+ and registered with a Powys GP can get in touch using our online form so that we can offer you an appointment.

The final stages of the first dose appointments will have some logistical challenges:

  • In line with UK clinical advice, people under the age of 40 are offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • In Powys, we offer the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as an alternative to AstraZeneca.
  • The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine arrives in trays of over 1100 doses. It has very stringent guidance for storage and transport. These factors are outside our local control.
  • This is why our vaccination programme has been very reliant on our three mass vaccination centres in Newtown, Builth Wells and Bronllys: we need locations where we can quickly and safely administer over 1100 doses and avoid wasting vital vaccine.
  • As we approach 1100 new sign-ups for first dose appointments, we can arrange further clinics.

We thank everyone for your patience whilst we continue with this complex programme.

Welsh Government has also updated their guidance on COVID-19 vaccination for students aged 18+. Wherever possible you should access COVID-19 vaccination where you are registered with a GP, but we recognise that this is not always possible (and some people choose not to be registered with a GP). More information about how to access COVID-19 vaccination for 18+ students is available from our website: Students - Powys Teaching Health Board (

UK guidance does not currently recommend COVID-19 vaccination for people under the age of 18 other than in specified circumstances (e.g. people aged 16-17 with certain underlying health conditions: Adults with underlying health conditions - Powys Teaching Health Board (

Online Q&A Session with Carol Shillabeer
5.30pm-6.30pm, Wednesday 9 June 2021

Our next online Q&A session with Carol Shillabeer will take place at 5.30pm on Wednesday 9 June. More information is available from our website.

How do I join?

You can join the session from most web browsers by clicking on this link.

When do I join?

You are welcome to join just before 5.30pm by clicking on the link above. The meeting will start shortly after 5.30pm to allow people time to join.

How do I participate?

This event will be provided through Microsoft Teams Live Event. It includes a Q&A function which allows you to ask questions. We regret that we may not have time to answer all the questions raised, but hope that the briefing will provide an opportunity to cover the main themes.

I am having trouble joining

The briefing will be recorded so that it is available for people who have trouble joining, or who are not available to join us at 5.30pm.

More information about being an attendee of a Microsoft Teams Live Event is available from the Microsoft website

I cannot attend – will I still be able to watch?

If you cannot attend on the day, you can watch the event at any time using the web link.

Rapid COVID-19 testing centre for people without symptoms comes to Newtown during June

A new rapid testing service for people without COVID-19 symptoms is coming to Newtown for four weeks from 7 June.

People living, working and studying in the Newtown area can drop in to the Park Street Day Centre in Newtown between 10am and 6pm, seven days a week for a free test.

This pilot programme will help Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys County Council to understand more about the spread of coronavirus in the county, and to prevent future outbreaks.

Stuart Bourne, Director of Public Health for Powys Teaching Health Board, said:

“We know that one in three people can have coronavirus without displaying the classic symptoms of fever (high temperature), new continuous cough and loss of or change to sense of smell or taste. So, this programme will help us gather a very comprehensive picture of coronavirus in the Newtown area. The information we gather will help us to Keep Powys Safe, we hope it will support us all to further steps to the ease restrictions on our daily life.

“Whilst coronavirus cases in the Newtown area are currently very low, we also know that new variants are a continuing threat for all of us in Wales. Testing people without symptoms (asymptomatic testing) is a useful tool to identify any new variants and help us stop them in their tracks.”

The asymptomatic testing centre will use Lateral Flow Devices to check for the presence of coronavirus. Anyone who tests positive using the Lateral Flow Device will be referred to the town's testing centre for a PCR test.

Cllr Beverley Baynham, Powys County Council Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services said:

A key benefit in choosing Newtown as the location of our asymptomatic testing centre is the ability to refer people quickly for a PCR test in the town.

“As well as helping us to understand more about the spread of coronavirus in Powys, this will be a vital opportunity for us to trial this type of mass testing centre operating in a rural setting. Testing will continue to be vital in preventing future waves of coronavirus, and in preventing further pandemics. So, our experience of running an asymptomatic testing centre in Newtown will also play a vital role in our preparedness for the future. It will mean that we have a tried and tested model of community testing that we can put in place quickly if we face outbreaks in future.”

“We are encouraging everyone to come along and take the test. Our centre is open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm at the Park Street Day Centre until 4 July. You can drop in any time between 10am and 6pm.”

All of Wales is at alert level 2, and it remains vital for all of us to continue to follow the latest guidance to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. This includes following social distancing rules and wearing a face covering.

The development of the centre is a joint project between Powys Teaching Health Board, Powys County Council, Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Welsh Government.

This service is for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. People with symptoms should continue to book a test at our testing centres across Powys or request a test by post by visiting or calling 119 (7am to 11pm). People with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001 119.

It is open to all ages, but people under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

What to do if you have a positive lateral flow test result

  • If you get a positive lateral flow test you must self-isolate immediately for 10 days and take a PCR test at a test centre within 24 hours. You can book a test online on GOV.UK, by calling 119 between the hours of 7am to 11pm (calls are free) or via the NHS COVID-19 app.
  • If your PCR test is negative and taken within 24 hours of your lateral flow test, you can leave self-isolation.
  • If your PCR test was negative but was taken more than 24 hours after your lateral flow test you and your contacts must remain in self-isolation for the full 10 days from the date of the original lateral flow test.
  • If your PCR test is positive and taken within 24 hours of your lateral flow test, you must stay in self-isolation for 10 days from the original lateral flow test result.
  • If you don’t take a PCR test within 24 hours you must self-isolate for 10 days.

More information about Lateral Flow testing in Wales is available from the Welsh Government website at Lateral flow testing for people without symptoms | GOV.WALES

More information about Coronavirus Testing in Powys is available from the Powys Teaching Health Board website at

Access Lateral Flow Devices if you are not able to work from home

Alongside our walk-in rapid COVID-19 testing centre in Newtown, Lateral Flow Devices are available by post and from our PCR testing Centres in Newtown (Shortbridge Street Car Park) and Brecon (Watton Car Park). From next week they will also be available to collect from even more locations across the county.

The devices can already be collected every morning from the testing centres in Newtown and Brecon, and from next week they will also be available from nine further collection points.

More information about collecting Lateral Flow Devices if you are not able to work from home is available from the Welsh Government website:

Further information about collection points for Lateral Flow Devices in Powys will be available soon from our website: I do not have symptoms - Powys Teaching Health Board (

Have Your Say on the future of health and care services

Share your views on our first draft Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment by 30 July 2021:

Share your views on the development of a satellite radiotherapy centre at Nevill Hall Hospital by 9 July 2021:

Share your experiences of hospital services in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire by 21 June 2021:

Job Opportunities

We have lots of great opportunities for people to join our team here at Powys Teaching Health Board. You can find all our current opportunities on our website:

Please help spread the word about our latest vacancies.

Latest information on COVID-19 Vaccination in Powys

You can find all the latest information about COVID-19 vaccination on our website.

Latest information on COVID-19 Vaccination in Wales

More information about the national COVID-19 vaccination programme in Wales is available from the Public Health Wales website:

The latest information about the number of COVID-19 vaccination doses delivered in Wales is available from the Public Health Wales dashboard – please remember that PTHB has the smallest population of all health boards, and is around a third of the size of the next smallest health boards (Cwm Taf Morgannwg, Hywel Dda):

More information about the Welsh Government’s strategy for COVID-19 vaccination: