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First major vaccination programme milestone achieved, says Welsh Government

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FIRST MINISTER Mark Drakeford today praised the thousands of NHS staff and volunteers vaccinating people for their phenomenal effort as the first milestone in Wales’ vaccination programme was reached.

As the final appointments are arranged for the weekend, Wales will achieve the milestone of offering everyone in the first four priority groups a vaccination.

Arrangements are in place to make sure no one is left behind – if someone missed an appointment because they were ill or maybe they changed their mind about having the vaccine, a new appointment will be made for them.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Vaccination is the number one priority for the Welsh Government and for the NHS in Wales.

“To have achieved this first milestone and offered vaccination to everyone in the first four priority groups – those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus – is a truly phenomenal effort. I want to thank everyone who has been working around the clock to reach this point.

“Of course, the hard work has only just begun – there are many, many more people to vaccinate yet and a lot of second doses still to give.”

The NHS has confirmed everyone in the first four priority groups has been contacted to be offered a vaccination appointment.

If health boards have been unable to contact someone on the list, or if an appointment has been missed, systems are in place to go back and check and re-arrange a new appointment for anyone who wants to be vaccinated.

The latest available figures show 684,097 people have received their first dose of the vaccine.

Hailing success: First Minister, Mark Drakeford (Pic WAG)

Health Minister Vaughan Gething added: “Every vaccine given to someone in Wales is a small victory against the virus and we are already looking ahead to meeting our next milestone.

“The first milestone in our Vaccination Strategy set out that everyone in first four priority groups will have been offered their first dose appointment by mid-February.

“Not everyone in these groups will have attended their appointment yet, some will not have responded and some will have chosen not to have the vaccine.

“We would ask individuals to keep their appointments as allocated where possible.

“If people cannot attend their appointment for a genuine reason we ask them to let the health board know via the contact details provided in their invitation. The appointment can then be rearranged for a more convenient time or location.

“Once you have been vaccinated, you should continue to follow the guidance of staying at home, staying two metres apart, washing your hands and wearing a face covering to protect those around you.”

Commenting on the news Wales will achieve the milestone of offering everyone in the first four priority groups a vaccination by the end of this weekend, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies MS said: “This is a true British and Welsh success story and I would like to thank everyone involved, especially our incredibly hard-working vaccination teams and armed forces who have gone above and beyond delivering the rollout programme.

“The UK Government’s bold decision to opt out of the disastrous EU scheme has now been fully vindicated and ensured Wales has had the vaccines available to meet this target and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

“There is still a long road ahead of us with second doses still to be administered to those most at risk and over three quarters of the population requiring their first jab, but this is a significant milestone we can all celebrate as we look to recover from the pandemic and rebuild Wales.

The Wales vaccination programme in numbers;

  • 13,988 care home residents have been reported to have had their first dose of the vaccine, as well as 33,832 care home staff.
  • 160,106 over-80s have been reported to have had their first dose.
  • 117,181 healthcare workers have been reported to have had their first dose.
  • 248,827 aged 70-79 have been reported to have had their first dose.
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A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike

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EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child

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ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moleycole

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Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby

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TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been scrambled from MOD St Athen.

It is understood that a search for a missing person or persons is underway.

Paged this morning: Angle Lifeboat is currently involved in the search south of Tenby

The alarm was raised before 10am this morning (June 18).

Tenby’s Y-boat is also involved in the operation, The Herald understands.

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Rescue underway: Coastguard chopper position at 1030HRS on Friday, Jun 18 (Pic MarineTraffic)
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