Just under a quarter of over-80s have received Covid-19 jab in Wales

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Just under a quarter of people aged over 80 in Wales have received the Covid-19 vaccine, newly released figures show.

Public Health Wales said 43,879 first doses had been given to the over-80s – 23.9% of the 183,394 people in that age group.

The agency confirmed 56.4% of care home residents had received their first jab, totalling 9,364 out of 16,602, while 67.5% of care home staff had been vaccinated.

There have been 86,717 jabs given to health care workers across Wales, the figures released on Thursday showed.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said he is “confident” that 70% of the over-80s, as well as 70% of care home residents and staff, will have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by January 24.

This now exceeds the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country since the start of the pandemic, which is 185,035.

A total of 396 second doses of the vaccine have been given.

On Wednesday, Mr Gething told a press conference in Cardiff that more than 10,000 people were receiving their first dose of the vaccine in Wales each day – equivalent to seven people being vaccinated every minute.

“This week, the vaccination programme will move up another gear,” Mr Gething said.

“Supplies of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have increased markedly. We expect to receive almost double the amount of vaccine this week as we had in the first fortnight.

“This means more people over 80 and more people living and working in care homes will be vaccinated in GP practices and by community nurses staffing the 14 mobile units.

“We are vaccinating almost 1,000 care home residents every day.”

Mr Gething said a further 60,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would be provided for use in mass vaccination centres in Wales this week.

He warned people not to expect a “significant easing” of coronavirus rules when they are formally reviewed by the Welsh Government by January 29, despite the vaccination programme and a recent drop in case numbers.

“Our case rates remain high, our positivity rates remain high and our NHS is still under significant pressure,” Mr Gething said.

Wales entered Level 4 restrictions – a national lockdown – on December 20.

Mr Gething said leaving Level 4 “too fast” could result in a “rebound” in Covid-19 rates and the risk of overwhelming the NHS.

Public Health Wales figures show the latest seven-day incidence rate across Wales is 281 cases per 100,000 people, while the percentage of people testing positive is 16.7%.

A further 1,153 cases of coronavirus and 46 deaths were reported on Thursday, taking the total number of deaths in the country since the start of the pandemic to 4,392.

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