A NEW mass vaccination centre is set to open in Powys next week, with the arrival of the appointment-only facility at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells.
It comes after a Powys care home saw the first residents in the county receive their Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday.
A further 11 care homes in Powys and over 250 residents, meanwhile, will receive their vaccinations on Thursday, and other homes in Powys will receive theirs by the end of next week subject to eligibility.
Later this month, the vaccination centre in Newtown is also set to relocate from its current location at the Park Street Day Centre to Maldwyn Leisure Centre to increase the number of appointments available for Powys residents.
This will mean that the county will have three mass vaccination centres – Bronllys, Newtown and Builth – and plans are also well under way to establish primary care-led clinics later this month.
All three mass vaccination centres will be available by appointment only, with invitation letters being sent to residents in the national priority groups.
In line with national guidance, vaccination is current being prioritised for:
-Residents of care home for older adults
-People aged 80 and over
-Frontline health and social care workers
Following this, invitation letters will be sent to each national priority group in turn beginning with people aged 75 and over.
People are asked not to phone their GP, pharmacy or hospital asking when they will get a vaccine. When someone is in one of the groups eligible for the vaccine, they will be invited to attend a dedicated clinic which will have been set up to ensure patient safety and that of the healthcare professionals.
Correspondence will come from local health boards and the vaccine is free of charge through the NHS.
Crosfield House, in Rhayader, was the first in Powys to have their residents vaccinated on Wednesday. The 48 people at the care home were vaccinated using the Oxford-AstroZeneca vaccine which became available for use this week.
This marks the beginning of a process to vaccinate all care home residents in Powys by January 16.
Mary Willis, 86, who celebrated her birthday on Tuesday, was one of those to receive the vaccine.
Powys residents are being warned to be alert to scams asking for money or personal information.
The effects of the vaccines may not be seen nationally for many months and the advice on keeping Wales safe remains the same for everyone; keep contacts with others to a minimum, keep a two-metre distance from others, wash hands regularly, wear a face covering where required and avoid touching surfaces others have touched, wherever possible.
More information about the national Covid-19 immunisation programme in Wales is available from https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/covid-19-vaccination-information/.
Advice on national priority groups is provided across the UK by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and is available at www.gov.uk.