Posted: Tue 26th Jan 2021

Wrexham local vaccination centre opens for three day week – “If we get more supply, we can go even faster” says Minister for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

A Local Vaccination Centre (LVC) for Wrexham opens today, by invited appointment only, as the vaccination programme scales up.

The LVC will be operating at the Catrin Finch Centre on the Wrexham Glyndwr University campus, and for this week at least, it will operate between Tuesday and Thursday 8am to 6pm. A similar centre in Plas Madoc is also planned.

It has been stressed people can’t just turn up, you must wait for an invitation.

All three Mass Vaccination Centres (MVCs) located in Bangor, Llandudno and Deeside are operational, together with three Hospital Vaccination Centres (Ysbyty Gwynedd, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, and Ysbyty Wrexham Maelor).

As previously reported, all local GP practices have agreed to provide vaccinations and will have received some supplies this week. This will continue and expand in the coming days with priority groups being contacted to attend for vaccinations – with it again stressed not to just turn up, but await invitation.

With the LVC opening today, we noted that documents we had seen had said the site could operate for more days in a week “dependent on supply of vaccine”. We asked the Health Minister Vaughan Gething for clarity over where the issue in supply is that stops it running several days a week more.

Locally the three day opening period has raised eyebrows with some tasked with helping the setup, so we also asked if those locally who feel a three day operation is quite limited, are their expectations too high?

The Health Minister replied, “It’s the reality of how much vaccine we’ve got to deliver. So last week, we delivered a huge amount in just a few days, we could have done more.

“We have got more than 300 General Practices across Wales who are already on board and delivering the vaccine. We’re then delivering vaccinations in different centres, not just our mass vaccination centres but community centres too.

“Now we’re using all of the available vaccine we can do to push into our system. We’re getting more of the AstraZeneca supply again this week, if we had more, we could deliver more. That’s the reality.”

“To be fair there was an element of disbelief that we would be able to significantly flex up our delivery to the scale we saw in the last few days, when we’re reporting daily figures nearer to 12-13,000 immunisations being delivered a day. We really can go with north of 20,000 every day on a consistent basis because the scale and reach our program allows us.

“So for the centre you describe, it could go for further days if we had more supply. That is simply a matter of how fast the manufacturers can provide it, how fast the regulator can approve it as safe and effective for use.”

The above graph was released prior to the briefing and appears was planned to be shown. It shows Wales now leading the way on 7 day rolling average compared to England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Israel is commonly accepted to be the world leaders in current vaccinations against the pandemic, and previously when we asked about their progress and what can be learnt from it the Health Minister was not keen to discuss it. With the external comparisons now taking place, we reasked why Israel was doing things so much better, and if there was there any communication taking place to learn from what they are doing and adapt the Welsh Government plan.

The Health Minister replied, “We of course, look at what other countries do. But as you know most people are interested in the comparison between the four nations and that’s a point that we accept is inevitable.”

“That information has been provided by a journalist, Peter Gillibrand, he’s promoted it over the weekend, showing how in the last seven days, the pace and the scale of our delivery has significantly increased to match and slightly surpass England and the other nations.

“Earlier on in the vaccination program there were regular questions about why we’re in fourth place out of the four UK nation, so it’s a point of regular interest.”

“I actually think that many people aren’t really that interested in what’s happening in Israel as a comparison. From a professional point of view, we, of course, share information and look to see what happens internationally. If there are things we can do differently to further improve what we’re able to do we will do so.”

“Going back to your first question, the reason we can’t deliver even more, is because the supply. If we get more supply, we can go even faster.”

“We have the scale and the ability to do so and that is thanks to our fantastic NHS Wales led vaccination program. I really am tremendously proud of what they’ve already achieved and what they’re capable of achieving in the weeks ahead.”

The journalist in question, Peter Gillibrand, has posted similar graphs, however the one we referenced and received was sent by Welsh Government.

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