Patients in Merthyr Tydfil and Bridgend are among the first in Wales to have received the new Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in their own doctors’ surgeries.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB began its latest vaccination rollout this week (Monday 4th January) in another turning point in the fight against this pandemic.
CTM UHB has been vaccinating its frontline staff with the Pfizer vaccine since early December last year.
However, unlike the Pfizer vaccine which has to be kept at minus 70C, the new Oxford vaccine can be stored at standard fridge temperatures. This means it is a lot easier to take the vaccine to patients rather than the other way around, and means it can be available in doctors’ surgeries.
Oak Tree surgery in Bridgend and Pontcae Medical Practice in Merthyr Tydfil took delivery of the new vaccine and began jabbing patients today.
87 year old Derek Games, was one of the first to get vaccinated at Pontcae Medical Practice. He has been largely shielding since the early stages of the pandemic and said: “I feel privileged and proud to have the vaccine, all my family feel the same for me.
“I couldn’t believe it when I got the call, I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t think I would be having it until at least the end of February or March.”
Dr Kelechi Nnoaham, Director of Public Health for CTMUHB, said: “This is another huge and historic day for Cwm Taf Morgannwg and our communities in the fight against Covid.
“I feel privileged to see our first patients receive the new vaccine in their own doctor’s surgery.
“It allows us to prioritise those groups of people who would’ve been harder for us to reach with the Pfizer vaccine.
“While this is a significant step forward, we must not let our guard down against this virus. I ask our communities to continue to follow Wales’ current lockdown restrictions.
“Covid-19 rates remain high in our areas and our hospitals and services remain under huge pressures.”
Cwm Taf Morgannwg is asking people not to phone or contact their GP, pharmacy or hospital to ask when they will get the vaccine, as people in the priority groups will be contacted individually and invited to dedicated vaccination clinics.