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Covid: First people to be vaccinated in Wales on Tuesday

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Publishedduration9 minutes agomedia captionCovid: ‘People living alone won’t be left alone’The first people to get the coronavirus vaccine in Wales will get the jab on Tuesday, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved by regulators on Wednesday and supplies have already started to arrive in the UK.Front-line NHS staff and the over…

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media captionCovid: ‘People living alone won’t be left alone’

The first people to get the coronavirus vaccine in Wales will get the jab on Tuesday, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved by regulators on Wednesday and supplies have already started to arrive in the UK.

Front-line NHS staff and the over 80s are at the top of the list for the vaccine.

Care home residents are also among those identified as a priority.

It comes as new rules stopping pubs, restaurants and cafes serving alcohol on the premises come into force at 18:00 GMT on Friday.

Meanwhile, the first minister confirmed a single person, single parent or someone with caring responsibilities can join a bubble at Christmas.

Between 23 and 27 December, three households from around the UK can join together and the single person would be in addition to those.

Wales’ chief medical officer Frank Atherton previously said getting the vaccines to care homes was a “work in progress” and “very difficult” to do because it needs to be kept at a temperature of about -70C.

Speaking at the Welsh Government’s briefing, Mr Drakeford said: “Our plans in Wales have been thoroughly tested.

“We expect to receive the first supplies in the next couple of days.

“We have trained staff to give the new vaccine.”

image captionThe first minister said a “precautionary approach” would be taken

He said he hoped it would mark “a turning point in the pandemic” and “put us on what is going to be a long path back to normality”.

However, he did say his government will take a “precautionary approach” to lifting Covid-19 restrictions “until we have a sufficient number of people vaccinated”.

“Even with the vaccines that are coming our way fastest, you have to have two doses of them three weeks apart, and they are not effective until after the second dose,” Mr Drakeford said.

“So even those people who will be vaccinated in Wales in December will not see the benefit of that vaccine until into the new year.”

Smooth rollout

Welsh Conservative leader in the Senedd Paul Davies called for Mr Drakeford to appoint a vaccines minister to ensure the process went smoothly.

The vaccine was “giving people hope at the end of a very dark tunnel”, he said.

Mr Davies added: “What’s important now is that we see the roll out of the vaccine will take place as soon as possible and that’s why I think it’s important that the Welsh Government have a specific minister responsible for the rollout of this vaccine, making sure this vaccine now rolls out across Wales over the next few months.”

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