Since our last edition, we have seen major changes in national guidance on boosters. Following the identification of the Omicron variant, boosters are now being offered to all eligible over 18s, and can be offered from 3 months after completion of a primary course. We have been working hard to ramp up our vaccination programme in response to the new guidance. And this week we reached an important milestone as half of over 18s in Powys who completed a primary course have now received their booster. This is amongst the highest rates in the UK.
If you are 50+ then your invitation letter should be reaching you early this week if it has not done so already (as long as it is more than three months since your primary course) so please get in touch if you have not received your invitation.
Taking up your COVID-19 booster invitation when you receive it is now even more important, as there are now 15 confirmed cases of Omicron in Wales (as at Saturday 11 December) and cases in Powys are sadly inevitable.
1. Boosters: Booster appointments are under way. Following new national guidance last week, we are ramping up our programme. Boosters will be offered to all adults in Powys by the end of January 2022, in line with the target for Wales and England.
Booster appointments are by invitation letter. If you are 50+ then you should receive your invitation early this week if it has not arrived already (as long as it is more than three months since your primary course) so please get in touch if you have not received your invitation.
Invitation letters to people under 50 have already begun. Look out for your invitation letter in the post. We aim to issue nearly all invitation letters to people aged 18+ by Christmas (post permitting).
2. 16-17: Second doses are now recommended for all 16-17 year olds. Second doses should be at least 12 weeks after the first dose, and at least 12 weeks after confirmed COVID infection. Invitations are under way. If it is more than 12 weeks since your first dose then you should receive an invitation for an appointment before the end of December.
3. 12-15: Second doses are now recommended for all 12-15 year olds. Second doses should be at least 12 weeks after the first dose, and at least 12 weeks after confirmed COVID infection. If your first dose appointment was in October you should receive an invitation letter soon for a second dose appointment in January.
4. Drop-In: First dose vaccination for people age 12+ and second dose vaccination for people age 18+ continue to be available on a drop-in basis. Check out our drop-in clinics for more details.
5. Pregnancy: COVID-19 infection in pregnancy carries a significant risk of hospital admission and a higher risk of severe illness than for the non-pregnant population. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you can attend our drop-in clinics for first and second dose vaccination, or talk to your Powys midwife to find out more about COVID-19 vaccination.
6. Q&A: Our next online Q&A session is taking place on 14 December to answer your questions about COVID-19 in Powys.
7. Find out more: You can continue to find all the latest information about COVID-19 vaccination at pthb.nhs.wales/covid-vaccine
This week we celebrated the first anniversary of our COVID-19 vaccine programme.
A little over one year ago we received our first supplies of COVID-19 vaccine, which followed less than a week after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for use in the UK.
After weeks of planning the COVID-19 vaccination programme began on 8 December 2020, with our first clinic opening in Bronllys.
Within a week we had opened in Newtown, initially in Park Street before moving to the Maldwyn Leisure Centre in January when our centre at the Showground also opened. Working together these three clinics continue to provide the focus for our successful vaccination programme in the county.
Since then we have successful administered over a quarter of a million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Thousands of hours have been given by health board staff, supported by our incredible volunteers and all our partner organisations.
But most importantly we have received fantastic support from the people of Powys, who have come forward in their thousands, and are still doing so today for their booster doses.
The collective achievement by and for the county is humbling. Thank you.
Programme Director (COVID-19 Vaccination and TTP)
Powys Teaching Health Board
Fifteen cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in Wales (as at 11 December 2021). Cases have also been confirmed in Shropshire and Herefordshire. Whilst Omicron has not yet been confirmed in Powys, cases are sadly inevitable.
Together with Public Health Wales colleagues we are closely monitoring the situation and this will continue in the coming weeks.
While we are all doing everything we can to keep safe, there are steps we can all take to Keep Powys Safe:
More information about Coronavirus Testing in Powys is available from the Powys Teaching Health Board website at https://pthb.nhs.wales/find/ttp
For more information and advice about reducing your risk of contracting and spreading the virus visit: www.gov.wales/keepwalessafe
Together we will Keep Powys Safe.
Half of people who completed their primary course have now received their booster in Powys. This is great progress less than three months since booster guidance was published, and once again means that we have one of the most rapid delivery programmes in the country.
New guidance was issued last week by the JCVI expanding eligibility for the booster to all over 18s. So, we have been working hard to ramp up our programme. We have added extra vaccination lanes and more days to our mass vaccination centres so that we can boost more people more quickly.
Everyone aged 18 and over will be invited for a booster by the end of January (in line with the national target for Wales and England), as long as it is more than 13 weeks since their second dose and more than four weeks since confirmed COVID infection.
Based on the updated national guidance on 29 November, new invitations are now being issued in the following order to people whose second dose was more than three months ago:
If you are 50+ then you should receive your invitation early this week if it has not arrived already (as long as it is more than three months since your primary course) so please get in touch if you have not received your invitation.
Invitation letters to people under 50 are well under way. Look out for your invitation letter in the post. We aim to issue nearly all invitation letters to people aged 18+ by Christmas (post permitting). This will offer you an appointment date between now and mid-late January.
And we do need your help:
Booster doses are normally by invitation to a mass vaccination centre, so please do look out for your invitation letter. We don’t currently have open drop-in for boosters. This is because we will be able to boost more people who are more vulnerable more quickly if we continue to focus on appointments.
Many people in the older age groups have already taken up their invitation and have received their boosters. Lots of appointments are currently taking place for people aged 50-64 and for adults with underlying conditions.
More information about our booster programme is available from our website, where you can also find details of our reserve list:
Since our last edition, the JCVI has recommended second doses for 16-17 year olds. Second doses should be at least 12 weeks after the first dose, and at least 12 weeks after confirmed COVID infection.
Around 85% of this age group have already taken up their first dose. Invitations are now under way for second doses. We expect to offer second dose appointments by the end of December. Look out for your invitation soon if you have not received it already.
First doses continue to be available on a drop-in basis. We anticipate that second dose drop-in will be open to 16-17 year olds from early 2022.
Since our last edition, the JCVI has recommended second doses for 12-15 year olds. Second doses should be at least 12 weeks after the first dose, and at least 12 weeks after confirmed COVID infection.
Around 65% of this age group have already taken up their first dose. We expect to offer second dose appointments from January, which will be at least 12 weeks after first doses took place in October, in line with national guidance. Look out for invitation letters from later this month.
First doses continue to be available on a drop-in basis. We anticipate that second dose drop-in will be open to 12-15 year olds by February or March 2022.
First dose COVID-19 vaccination remains available for everyone aged 12 and over at our regular drop-in clinics. Second dose COVID-19 vaccination is available on a drop-in basis for anyone aged 18 and over. Drop-in clinics are advertised through our social media channels, and the latest information is also available from our website.
Drop-ins are not currently available for boosters. Boosters are currently by appointment, as this helps us boost more people who are more vulnerable more quickly. But drop-in arrangements can change at short notice (for example, if we have high levels of cancellations for a specific clinic date and location) so do keep checking our website and social media channels for details.
COVID-19 infection in pregnancy carries a significant risk of hospital admission and a higher risk of severe illness than for the non-pregnant population – especially so in the third trimester. Across the country we are seeing that pregnant mothers are more likely to be admitted to hospital with serious illness from COVID-19.
Our First and Second Dose Drop-In Clinics are here for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and would like your COVID-19 vaccine. You can also talk to your Powys Midwife about the options available to you.
More information is available from our website. This includes links to specialist advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:
Our next online Q&A session will take place at 5.30pm on Tuesday 14 December.
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?
You can watch the event from 15 December onwards using the web link.
Where can I watch the briefing in November?
Our last briefing in November is available to watch on our YouTube channel.
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. This includes opportunities to join our Test Trace Protect and Vaccination Teams. You can find all our current opportunities on our website:
Please help spread the word about our latest vacancies.