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New changes confirmed for local vaccination booster programme

Photo credit: Matthew Horwood

Urgent changes to the way in which people receive their Covid-19 booster vaccinations are being introduced as national efforts to fight the spread of the new Omicron variant get underway.

The move follows the recent announcement from Welsh Government confirming that all eligible adults in Wales will be offered a Covid-19 vaccination booster shot by the end of the month.

To achieve this, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board now needs to deliver 166,000 boosters across the region by 31 December 2021.

For Bridgend County Borough, it means that a number of important changes need to be introduced at the Ravens Court vaccination centre.

To accommodate more appointments, opening hours are being extended to cover 7am-10pm. The only exceptions will be on Christmas Eve (7am-2pm) and New Year’s Eve (7am-4pm).

The centre will also remain operative every day of the week, including bank holidays, apart from on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Because the centre will be open earlier in the morning and later at night, additional external lighting and shelters are being installed.

Inside the centre, boosters and standard vaccinations will be carried out alongside one another. New vaccination lanes are being set up to accommodate this, and extra staff are being brought in to ensure the process can run smoothly.

While walk-in appointments for booster vaccinations are not currently available, walk-in slots will continue to be offered to eligible people who need to receive a first or second dose of the vaccine.

Once they have had their jab, the amount of time people will need to wait before leaving the premises is being reduced to five minutes.

Appointments are being arranged now and will be automatically offered to every eligible adult within the county borough. You do not need to contact the health board or your local GP, but should expect to receive your appointment via text message. Only people who have not provided a telephone contact number will receive an appointment via post.

Even if it is on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, I cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it will be to accept the offered appointment – trying to rearrange it for the sake of convenience will cause a delay that we can ill afford, and will put you at the back of the queue where you will have to start all over again.

Above all, it is essential to ensure that you receive your booster. This remains vital for improving your levels of protection against the fast-moving Omicron strain, and we need to do all that we can to keep ourselves, our friends, family, workmates and neighbours safe. The appointments will start to come through very soon, so please look out for more information on the booster roll-out – and remember that together, we can help to keep Wales safe.

Council Leader Huw David