Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Powys. Nearly a third of a million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered through the Powys programme, and thousands of people have played a part in delivering this.
We have come through a very busy period over Christmas and into the new year, accelerating the booster programme in response to the Omicron variant.
Amidst these busy and challenging times, I was very touched that the Powys COVID-19 Vaccination Programme received the “Family of the Year” Award in the Powys County Times Community Heroes. It truly has felt like a big family, such an enormous team effort, to deliver such high levels of protection for our communities.
During this period we have also seen the relocation of our clinic in Newtown from Maldwyn Leisure Centre. The success of the programme in north Powys has only been possible because of the welcome and support we have been given by Freedom Leisure, with over 125,000 doses delivered since the clinic opened in January 2021.
Our main vaccination clinics are now in Park Street Day Centre Newtown, Bronllys Hospital and Royal Welsh Showground Llanelwedd. These latter two venues have delivered nearly 80,000 doses and 60,000 doses respectively, and my grateful thanks go to our hosts at Powys County Council and the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. We are also making plans to return to Ystradgynlais next month for a pop-up clinic.
As I write this bulletin we approach the second anniversary of the first lockdown on 23 March. This provides an opportunity for a day of reflection, to connect with each other through our grief and our hope for the future.
As we take cautious steps out of the restrictions under which we have all lived for the last two years, Welsh Government has published their COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy for 2022 as well as their plan for the long-term COVID-19 transition from pandemic to endemic “Together for a Safer Future”. Both documents reinforce how important the vaccination programme has been to enable the easing of restrictions. Vaccines have saved thousands of lives and significantly weakened the link between the infection, serious illness, hospitalisation, and death.
Here in Powys the uptake of the vaccine continues to be the highest of all health boards in Wales:
Looking ahead it is clear that vaccination will continue to be a critical part of our response to coronavirus. A spring booster programme is just about to get under way, the offer of vaccination is now open to all 5-11 year olds, and drop-in opportunities remain available for people who have not yet taken up the offer. And the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has already indicated that there will be an autumn vaccination programme. We expect this will become an annual event to maintain high levels of immunity and help protect against new coronavirus variants. Look out for further details of the autumn booster later this year.
Later in this bulletin you will find more information about drop-in sessions, spring boosters, vaccination for 5-11 year olds, and other updates on the vaccination programme here in Powys and across the country.
Thank you for being part of its success.
Programme Director (COVID-19 Vaccination and TTP)
Powys Teaching Health Board
Everyone aged 12 and over can drop in for a first and second dose COVID-19 vaccination at our regular drop-in clinics. Drop-in clinics are advertised through our social media channels, and the latest information is also available from our website (link below).
People aged 18+ can also drop in for their first booster dose if it is three 3 months after their primary course.
All 16-17 year olds are now also eligible for a first booster dose three months after their primary course. You will receive an invitation letter when your booster is due. Drop-in boosters are not currently available for 16-17 year olds but we expect this to be in place later this spring.
Please note that drop-in arrangements can change at short notice so do keep checking our website and social media channels for the latest information.
A second booster will be available this spring for everyone aged over 75, residents of care homes for older adults, and people aged 12+ with severe immunosuppression.
Guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on the spring booster was published last month. It recommends that the spring booster is offered around six months after the last dose. This means that we expect to begin invitations very soon, with clinics starting by early April and continuing into June.
In the meantime, we have opened a Reserve List. You can join our Reserve List if you can answer YES to all four questions:
Keep checking our reserve list as we will continue to extend the date, and look out for your invitation by early June if you are 75+ or immunosuppressed.
We will share more information about the spring booster as soon as we receive it. In the meantime, you can find out more and join our reserve list via our website:
COVID-19 Vaccination is now offered to all 5-11 year olds.
Guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on COVID-19 vaccination for 5-11 year olds in clinical risk groups was published in December. Last month they expanded the eligibility to include everyone in this age group. We will be writing to all parents / guardians by the end of May to offer you the opportunity to book an appointment. In the meantime, if you would like to arrange an appointment sooner you can use our online form to request this.
More information about COVID-19 vaccination for 5-11 year olds and our online form are available from our website:
Last week Welsh Government published “Together for a safer future”. This outlines Wales’ long-term COVID-19 transition from pandemic to endemic and sets out a gradual transition away from emergency measures. We will be working with Powys County Council, Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, and other partners to put this into practice in Powys. Clearly the steps we take locally and nationally will be subject to the public health conditions at the time.
The protective behaviours we have all adopted during the pandemic can all have significant benefits that go beyond coronavirus. In the national plan we are all urged to continue these behaviours to help reduce the impact of coronavirus and other respiratory infections:
The full document is available from the Welsh Government website:
Alongside “Together for a safer future”, Welsh Government has published their COVID-19 vaccination strategy for 2022. Clearly there is a lot that we do not yet know about vaccination requirements for the year ahead. But as outlined above, our current priorities are to offer the spring booster to eligible individuals, offer vaccination to all 5-11 year olds, and continue our drop-in clinics for people who have not yet taken up the offer. Looking further ahead we expect an autumn booster programme, and work is also under way to plan what the future looks like and how COVID-19 vaccination fits with other immunisation programmes.
The COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy for 2022 is available from the Welsh Government website:
You can find all the latest information about COVID-19 vaccination on our website.
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:
More information about the Welsh Government’s strategy for COVID-19 vaccination:
We have lots of great opportunities 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.