Posted: Sat 16th Jan 2021

Oxford vaccine used ‘as we get it’ in Wales – Pfizer supply to last until end of January for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jan 16th, 2021

The First Minister has explained how Wales has been supplied with 174,000 vaccine doses that have not yet been used.

Yesterday we asked the First Minister for clarity on the vaccination figures, with a figure of 300,000 doses reportedly supplied to Wales. The latest figures from Public Health Wales say 126,375 doses have been given out. We asked if the 300k figure was correct, and if so where the bottleneck lay between getting them off the proverbial shelf and into people. We asked if it was a throughput issue with vaccination centres, or if there was throttling of supply taking place so Wales does not run out before future resupply.

The First Minister said, “The figure is broadly correct. It’s made up of around, in very broad terms 50,000 of the Oxford vaccine, and 250,000 of the Pfizer vaccine.”

“We will have been using all the Oxford vaccine that we get, as we get it, the Pfizer vaccine has to last us into the first week of February so we have to provide it on a week by week basis.”

“What you can’t do is to try and stand up a system which uses all the vaccine you’ve got in week one and it has nothing to offer for the next four weeks. So we won’t get another delivery of the Pfizer vaccine until the very end of January or maybe the beginning of February. So that 250,000 doses is going last for six weeks and that’s why you haven’t seen it all used in week one because we have got to space it out over the weeks that it’s got to cover.”

“We are expecting a significant upswing in the Oxford vaccine coming to Wales next week and we will use all of that, because it is a much easier vaccine to use and can be used in GP practices and so on. We will continue to use the Pfizer vaccine in a way that will mean we will use it all before we get the next delivery.”

On Thursday we also spoke to the First Minister, again asking about vaccines, with Mr Drakeford explaining: “What we’ve already said is in the very early days because of the rural nature of quite a lot of Wales, we faced some additional challenges with a Pfizer vaccine because of the way it’s got to be stored and the way that it can be delivered.

“As somebody who knows an awful lot more about this than me said to me yesterday, you’ve got to remember with the Pfizer vaccine if you walked upstairs too quickly with it from the ground floor to the first floor, it could be unusable by the time you get to the first floor.”

“That vaccine is and has to be stored and used incredibly carefully.”

This week we reported the splits and tables between Pfizer and Oxford vaccines in the draft plan for vaccination for North Wales – you can read that here.

Top pic: Pfizer vaccines in Wrexham

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