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All people eligible for vaccination will get theirs by end of July

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PEOPLE eligible for the coronavirus vaccine will get theirs by the end of July, the Health Minister has said.

Wales achieved its target of getting everyone in the first four priority groups vaccinated by the middle of February and is now working on offering the vaccine to those in groups 5 to 9.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out that people with severe or profound learning disabilities or with a mental illness will be among priority group 6.

Mr Gething said that they were would make sure that no one is left behind.

The latest figures from Public Health Wales show that 878,506 people had received their first dose of the vaccine.

59,279 people have received both doses of the vaccine.

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “We have achieved our first milestone of offering everyone in the first four priority groups vaccination by mid-February.

“We are now making progress in achieving our next milestone, which is to offer the vaccine to all individuals in priority groups 5 to 9.

“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out that people with a severe/profound learning disability and individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or any mental illness that causes severe functional impairment, should be invited for vaccination as part of priority group 6.

“There are challenges with identifying individuals within these groups, particularly given the JCVI language is not generally in use in Wales, and we are working hard to make sure that no one is left behind. Today we have published guidance on identifying eligible individuals in these groups and on how to support them to take up their vaccine offers.

“The JCVI has also said that some of our invaluable unpaid carers should be included in priority group 6.

“Today we have also published guidance on identifying those unpaid carers eligible for vaccine prioritisation and the process around this. I am grateful to the national carers’ organisations for their support with this work.”

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Multi agency response to 999 calls of person in water in Fishguard Bay

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THERE was a dramatic rescue of a casualty who had fallen into the water in Fishguard Bay on Thursday (May 26).

The lunchtime incident was dealt with by a multitude of emergency services. The local coastguard team in Fishguard was called out and assisted the RNLI, and two helicopter crews – one from the Wales Air Ambulance and the other Rescue 187.

Casualty is rescued from water in Fishguard Bay by emergency services (Pics HM Coastguard)

The HM Coastguard said: “Our team in Fishguard were paged along with HM Coastguard Moylegrove and RNLI Fishguard and Goodwick Lifeboat to a casualty in the water in Fishguard Bay.

“The casualty was recovered by the lifeboat and transported back to the boathouse to be met by coastguard team who had set up landing sites, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187 and The Wales Air Ambulance, which transported the casualty to hospital.

Rescue 187 about to land (Pic HM Coastguard)
Wales Air Ambulance arriving in Goodwick (Pic HM Coastguard)
Fishguard Lifeboat was involved in the rescue (Pic HM Coastguard)

Pictures from HM Coastguard social media.

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Pembroksehire County Council Leader Cllr David Simpsonconfirms new Cabinet

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL Leader Councillor David Simpson has now completed the selection of his new Cabinet.
Cllr Simpson was re-elected as Leader at the Annual General Meeting yesterday and appointed Councillor Paul Miller as the Deputy leader.
Today, Cllr Simpson has confirmed the remaining Cabinet appointments.

The Cabinet in full is:

Cllr David Simpson: Leader

Cllr Paul Miller: Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change

Cllr Guy Woodham: Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language

Cllr Jon Harvey: Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery

Cllr Michelle Bateman: Cabinet Member for Housing Operations and Regulatory Services

Cllr Neil Prior: Cabinet Member for Corporate Improvements and Communities

Cllr Tessa Hodgson: Cabinet Member for Social Care and Safeguarding

Cllr Alec Cormack: Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance

Cllr Rhys Sinnett: Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services and Leisure

Cllr Simpson said: “It is a pleasure to welcome returning Cabinet Members who know their portfolios so well. I am delighted that their knowledge and good working relationships within the Council and with external partners is continuing.
“I am looking forward to hearing the fresh input and new ideas that Councillors Cormack and Sinnett bring to the Cabinet.
“The Cabinet is keen to work with all Councillors to help improve people’s lives in Pembrokeshire.
“Our aim is to continue taking Pembrokeshire and Pembrokeshire County Council forward.”

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Family highlights suffering caused by air guns after spate of shootings in West Wales

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PEOPLE who indiscriminately target animals with air guns are being urged to think about the devastating consequences of their actions following the shooting of three cats – two of whom did not survive – in Pembrokeshire.

Jemima, a two-year-old tabby cat, may never fully regain her mobility after she was targeted near her home in the Plas y Fron area of Fishguard on 6 May. The pellet, which entered just below her neck, came to rest between her shoulder blades and just milimetres from her spine – and has been deemed too risky to remove.

Another female cat was also shot the previous evening (5 May) in a neighbouring street, Dan y Bryn, and taken to a vet, where an x-ray revealed she had been shot twice with an air gun. She sustained a broken leg – which had to be amputated – and a shattered shoulder. Despite making good progress initially, she took a turn for the worst and sadly had to be put to sleep a few days later.

A third incident occurred seven miles away in Newport at the beginning of the month, with a vet confirming that a cat’s fatal injuries had been caused by an air gun.

The RSPCA, which last year received 454 calls about animals being shot, injured or killed with air guns, is appealing for information about the incidents.

Jemima’s owners, who initially thought she had fallen or been run over, say they are cautiously optimistic that she is now out of immediate danger, although her long-term prognosis remains guarded.

They said: “When we found Jemima, she was unable to walk, and had no use in her hind legs. We are incredibly lucky that the projectile did not strike any vital organs or any blood vessels, however it seems that the swelling caused by the impact of the fragments might be affecting the nerves to her legs.

“She is making a slow recovery at home and with treatment has started to gain the use of her legs, albeit slowly. She’s now able to move around more independently, walking with a pronounced limp, and we see improvements in her mobility every day.

“She has always been a very active cat who enjoyed being outside but her life has now changed completely. She can’t go out and doesn’t understand why she can no longer jump up or run around like she used to.

“People aren’t aware of the damage airguns can do to animals and perhaps if they did, they would think twice. They need to realise there are lasting consequences to their throwaway actions, not just on pets, but for the people who care for them. Jemima survived by a matter of milimetres but we don’t know whether she will ever fully walk again and whether her current condition is the best we can hope for.

“We’re shocked and horrified that somebody living near our house has willfully inflicted this cruelty on our family pet, and we are very concerned about reports of other occurrences like this in our area. We hope that our community will remain vigilant, and that any further incidents are reported to both the police and the RSPCA.”

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben is urging people to come forward with information about the attacks and to report suspicious behaviour to the animal welfare charity.

He said: “Jemima was extremely lucky to survive this callous shooting and I sincerely hope she continues to make positive progress in the weeks and months ahead.”

“Sadly we tend to see a rise in these mindless attacks when the weather warms up and people are spending more time outside. We also saw a significant number of cases during the national lockdown months.

“The RSPCA continues to call for stricter regulations around owning an airgun in both England and Wales. Better education, basic safety training for owners and a thorough explanation of the law – including our legal obligations towards animals – could help protect countless animals from these horrible attacks in the future.”

Anyone with information about the shootings in Pembrokeshire should call the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

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