Health chiefs elaborate further on Oxford AstraZeneca jab


April 08, 2021

Public Health Wales have made a statement concerning the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine as part of its update for Thursday.

Also included in the update are details of new cases and deaths in Wales. In the last 24 hours there have been 6 Covid-related deaths and 82 new cases of the virus.

In North Wales there were 11 new cases - 4 in Gwynedd, 3 in Conwy, 2 in Flintshire and 1 case each in both Anglesey and Wrexham. There were no cases reported in Denbighshire.

Dr Eleri Davies, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:

“Yesterday the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency and Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation provided an update on the Oxford AstraZenca vaccine following reports of an extremely rare and specific type of blood clot following vaccination.

“The AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe and effective and has already saved thousands of lives. Those who have received a first dose of the vaccine, should continue to receive a second dose.

“The risk benefit remains strongly in favour of vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine for those aged 30 and over, and those aged under 30 who have underlying health conditions which puts them at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection. However, adults aged 18-29 years old who do not have underlying health conditions will now be offered an alternative vaccine.

“The Moderna vaccine is now being rolled out across Wales. It is the third coronavirus vaccine approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency and patients in Carmarthenshire were the first in the UK to receive it yesterday.

“We urge anyone over 50 who has not yet received an invite for their vaccination to contact their local health board. Details of which can be found here: https://gov.wales/get-your-covid-19-vaccination-if-you-think-you-have-been-missed.

“The Welsh Government has announced a series of measures over the coming months which will take Wales into Alert Level 3 by 17 May, subject to public health conditions remaining favourable.

“On 12 April, all children will return to face to face education, all post-16 learners will return to further education, and training centres and university campuses will be able to open for blended face to face learning for all students.

“On the same day, all remaining shops can reopen, and all close contact services including mobile services can resume. In addition, travel restrictions on travelling into and out of Wales will be lifted. However, restrictions on travel to countries outside the Common Travel Area without a reasonable excuse, remain in place.

“Also on 12 April, viewings at wedding venues can resume by appointment, and outdoor canvassing for elections can begin.

“This slight easing of Covid lockdown rules is encouraging, however while the number of cases is declining overall, we remind the general public that that Coronavirus has not gone away, and that there is still a large number of people who have not been vaccinated. It is therefore vital that we all maintain constant vigilance, by keeping 2m apart from people that you don’t live with, practising hand hygiene, and wearing a mask in indoor environments.

“Welsh Government restrictions state that you should not go into any other household or mix indoors with other people who you don’t live with.

“If you are contacted by your local TTP team then it is important that you are truthful with them about where you have been and who you have met. They are not there to judge, they are there to help prevent ongoing transmission of the virus and to protect the community.

“If you are asked to self-isolate by your local TTP team then please ensure that you do so for the full ten days – this will help break any chains of transmission.

“We encourage everyone, whatever their background, social demographic and ethnicity, to have the vaccine when they are offered it.

“We need your continued support to control the spread of Coronavirus, so please do not send your child to school if they are unwell, even if you are not sure if they have Coronavirus. Please continue to work from home if at all possible.

“When you take your child to school, always keep your distance from other parents, wear a face covering, and don’t stay around and chat. Please don’t invite other children or their parents to your home to play or stay indoors, even if they are in the same bubble at school.

“We need to continue to limit the numbers of people we meet socially to minimise spread of the virus. Currently a maximum of four people from two households living locally can meet outdoors, including in private gardens.

“Make sure your child understands the importance of washing their hands regularly.

“Coronavirus cases by variant in Wales are reported on the UK Government website. The dominant strain in Wales is the Kent variant, and there is currently no evidence of widespread community transmission of other Variants of Concern in Wales.

“Restrictions on UK and international travel remain in place. More information on current travel guidance is available on the Welsh Government website.

“The red list of travel ban countries has been extended, and Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and Philippines will be added from 4am Friday 9 April.

“If you arrive in the UK from these places before 4am Friday 9 April, you must self-isolate for 10 days in the place you’re staying and take a COVID-19 test on day 2 and day 8.

“If you arrive in the UK from these places after 4am Friday 9 April, you must stay in your quarantine hotel for your 10-day quarantine period and take a COVID-19 test on day 2 and day 8.

“If you or a member of your household develop a cough, fever or change in sense of taste or smell, you must self-isolate immediately and book a free Coronavirus test, either by calling 119 or by visiting www.gov.wales/getting-tested-coronavirus-covid-19. Please check your local health board’s website to see if there are additional symptoms that require a test.”