HYWEL Dda Health Board has has met the first Welsh Government vaccination milestone of offering a first dose to everyone in groups 1 to 4 by Monday, February 15.

Large numbers of people across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion have received their vaccine, putting the three counties in a very strong position to protect the most vulnerable.

In the Hywel Dda region the figures are: older adult resident in a care home 2,389 (92.6 per cent); care home worker 3,068 (87.8 per cent); 80 years and over 22,462

(98.9 per cent); health and social care workers 21,065 (92.3 per cent); 75 years and over 17,726 (90.8 per cent); 70 years and over

23,550 (89.6 per cent); clinically extremely vulnerable 7,401 (74.7 per cent); 65 and over 2,361 (9.9 per cent); other priority groups or unallocated 4,750 (9.9 per cent). Total: 103,989 (26.9 per cent).

Total vaccinations per county: Carmarthenshire 48,230 (25.5 per cent); Ceredigion 18,701 (25.7 per cent); Pembrokeshire 38,828 (26.9 per cent); other 3,230 - unallocated to county or staff working in but living outside of the three counties.

A health board spokesperson said: "We hope to see this high uptake continue as GP practices start to invite people in priority group 5, those aged 65 to 69 year olds this week.

"Our aim is to offer everyone in group 5 a first vaccine appointment by Friday, March 12. Further information about where and when group 6 (all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of Covid-19) will be invited to receive a vaccine will be provided as soon as possible."

The health board said the number of vaccines being delivered will slow down compared to recent weeks. This is due to a reduction in the amount of vaccines the health board will receive – this is a planned and expected change in supply that will affect the whole of the UK.

"We have factored this into our plans and it will not affect people’s appointments," said the spokesperson.

The second dose of the vaccine is being delivered this week.

The spokesperson added: "It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you the best longer-term protection and this week saw our Covid-19 vaccine programme gearing up to begin the delivery of second Covid-19 vaccine doses."

Resmi Sugathan, an MSK Specialist Physiotherapist at Glangwili General Hospital was one of the first to receive her second dose this week.

Resmi also had an important message for everyone in the BAME community as ethnic minority groups, especially those working in healthcare, are at higher risk of infection and adverse outcome from COVID-19: “I had my second vaccination today. I would encourage all BAME members to get their vaccination as we fall in the high-risk category. I have done my part to fight against Covid 19 – you are next to help protect our community.”

By the end of this week, members of the vaccination teams will have visited all acute, community and Enfys field hospitals to vaccinate patients in priority groups 1 to 4.

Please don’t contact your GP, pharmacy or health board to ask when you will receive the vaccine.

The spokesperson added: "This week, health services have been inundated with calls, emails and social media messages from the public enquiring about the vaccine.

"We understand people are anxious and want to know when they can have the vaccine. Please do not contact your GP, pharmacy or health board; you will be contacted when it is your turn. People will be invited to receive the vaccine in order of priority, so please be patient."