Covid vaccinations in Wales have 'saved 7,000 lives'

By Ruth Mosalski

Wales' Covid vaccination programme has saved 7,000 lives, the nation''s health minister has said.

In Wales, 5,974 people have died with coronavirus since the start of the pandemic and health minister Eluned Morgan said that the vaccination programme had saved thousands more lives.

Speaking at the Welsh Government's press briefing on Tuesday, Mrs Morgan said the vaccination programme has avoided 7,000 deaths in Wales and 10,000 hospitalisations.

Data published on Tuesday, October 12, reported one further death and 2,047 new positive cases, bringing the total number since the pandemic began to 384,250.

The latest seven-day infection rate across Wales based on the cases for every 100,000 people (seven days up to October 7) has dropped slightly and now stands at 514.8 – a decrease on the 515.1 reported on Monday. The figures announced on Monday are for the 24-hour period up to 9am on October 11, according to PHW.

In August, England's health minister Sajid Javid said 105,900 lives had been saved in England due to vaccines.

At the press conference, Mrs Morgan warned that the pandemic won't be over by Christmas and people need to be prepared for flu cases to be higher than a typical year. Mrs Morgan said the peak could be at a different time.

"This is the first season where we will have significant amounts of coronavirus circulating as well as flu," she said.

"We saw very little flu last winter – you will remember that we had lockdown restrictions in place because we were dealing with high levels of coronavirus caused by the alpha – of Kent – variant.

"Data from our health service suggests the respiratory syncytial (RSV) season started earlier than usual this year in Wales – in July. Young children are particularly vulnerable because they will not previously have been exposed to RSV."

In an updated vaccination strategy, Mrs Morgan has confirmed that the majority of people eligible will be offered their booster vaccination by December 31.

People who are severely immuno-suppressed will be offered a third dose of vaccine to provide them with as much protection as possible.

They will be prioritised for an urgent appointment at a time that is right for them based on their treatment and the advice of their clinician.

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