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Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine begins in Wales

Health Minister admitted that the start of the second Covid vaccine is a key milestone to fight against Covid.

AstraZeneca vaccine will begin in Wales

On Monday, AstraZeneca vaccine approved in the UK will begin in Wales. Health Minister Vaughan Gething admitted that the start of the second Covid vaccine is a key milestone to fight against Covid. Moreover, the Welsh Government also revealed at least 40.000 doses would be ready within the first two weeks.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will begin in Wales

Over 35,000 people in Wales have already had one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. They represent a front-line health and social care staff, care home residents and staff, and people over 80.

Vaccinated people

Both vaccines need two doses to be administered, with the interval between four and 12 weeks. The change of interval has been controversial but, in the end, everyone is agreed with the decisions.

About this, Dr Rowena Christmas, a family doctor whose surgery is part of the rollout pilot, revealed: “The evidence suggests that a longer period between the first dose and second booster gives you better immunity. The key thing is we need to protect people. If we gave 1,000-second doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week then that’s 1,000 people who won’t get the first protection“.

Moreover, she also said that as soon as people have the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, within about 10 days they have got 70% protection from the virus. However, if you are in the 30% that does catch it, you’re much less likely to get severely ill and much less likely to go to the hospital.

Dr Christmas also added: “We are in a crisis and we have to protect as many people as we possibly can.

The second Covid vaccine: advantages and explanations

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is saved at normal vaccine fridge temperatures. So, it will have less storage and transport issues. It also makes it much easier to use in care homes and GP surgeries.

About this, Dr Christmas, principal GP at the Wye Valley Pratice, confirmed it represents a “game changer in the fight against Covid”. He said: ” We need this vaccine because it’s easy to give. We can now all get involved and start this rollout of this crucial vaccination programme.

On the other hand, The Welsh Government said every health board in Wales will receive its allocation. This will happen in balance to the size of its priority population and capability to deliver.

At the same time, it warned the effects of the vaccines may not be seen nationally for many months. For this reason, the advices remained to keep contacts with others to a minimum, keep a two-metre distance from others, wash hands regularly, wear a face-covering where required and to avoid touching surfaces others have touched.

Moreover, people were also asked not to call their family doctors, pharmacy or hospital to ask when they will get a vaccine. It is better to wait for the request to go to a specially dedicated clinic.

Finally, the senior responsible officer for the vaccine programme, Gillian Richardson said: “It is fantastic news that there is now a second vaccine to help protect our communities’ most vulnerable from the harms of Covid-19. Pace will be governed by supply, which will start slowly this week but build vastly over the coming weeks and months.

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