Member of the Welsh Parliament for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay, during Plenary last week questioned the Health Minister , Vaughan Gething MS, about the plans being made by the Welsh Government to provide a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as this is available.
Addressing Vaughan Gething MS in the Senedd Nick said: “A number of newspapers reported recently that it might be just a matter of weeks before NHS staff might start receiving a vaccine. The development of a vaccine is clearly key to dealing with the pandemic over the medium and the longer term, as you've made clear before.
“There's clearly going to be enormous demand for this vaccine once it's available. Has the Welsh Government established a list of those who will get the vaccine first, such as doctors, nurses and teachers? I think it's important that plans are made. Also, if we are to hit the ground running in getting the vaccine out to the most vulnerable, what plans are you putting in place to support it, and have your officials discussed with health practitioners the logistics in providing the vaccine?”
The Health Minister responded: “So, 'yes' to the final point—yes, of course, there have been conversations led by the chief medical officer's department, as you'd expect, with the different parts of our healthcare services about how a vaccination programme would be delivered.
“Turning to your point about priorities, we again will have UK advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation about how to prioritise vulnerable groups. So, it won't be the case that we'll have competing demands from professional groups about why they should be ahead of the cue compared to others—it's about which vulnerable groups in our society are likely to be getting the greatest benefit, taking account of the characteristics of any vaccine that is ultimately approved and made available for use. That's really important, because, otherwise, any sense that it's the loudest voice rather than the equity and the benefit that a vaccine will provide, I think, will undermine the trust that is essential for our staff who'll be delivering the programme as well as the public who we will be asking to come forward to take the vaccine as well. So, I think you can be confident that if and when a vaccines is available we'll have a plan in place to deliver that here in Wales, and we'll be clear, as I said in answer to Rhun ap Iorwerth earlier about the communication about what we're doing and why, and which groups we're particularly keen to vaccinate first to give them the best prospect of avoiding further harm from what is a highly infectious and deadly disease.”