Every adult in Wales will have been offered a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by Monday, the Welsh Government has said.
Health minister Eluned Morgan announced the milestone on Sunday – six weeks ahead of schedule.
It means everyone who is eligible for a vaccine in Wales will have been offered at least a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccination clinics across Wales are now accelerating second doses amid growing concerns about the spread of the Delta variant of the virus across the UK.
Anyone who has changed their mind about getting a vaccine is urged to make an appointment, Ms Morgan added. All health boards have systems in place to enable people to get an appointment if they think they have been missed of the list or if they have changed their mind. It is hoped that 18 to 39-year-olds will have been vaccinated with a 75% take-up rate by the end of June.
Latest figures show more than 2.2m people in Wales have received a first vaccine dose with almost 1.4m people having had the full two-dose course. On Sunday Wales recorded another 115 positive cases of coronavirus and the seven-day infection rate continues to rise.
Figures released on Thursday revealed that six more cases of the new Delta strain, which was first identified in India, have now been recorded in Wales to bring the total to 184. Across the UK the number of cases of the Delta variant has leapt by more than 30,000 in the last week.
Ms Morgan said: “Wales is leading the world when it comes to the percentage of our population who have been vaccinated.
“I’m delighted that today we have reached the milestone of offering all eligible adults their first dose – six weeks ahead of schedule.
“This is a remarkable achievement and I want to thank everyone involved for their incredible efforts. However we are not being complacent – I want to encourage younger adults to take up this offer of the vaccine and we don’t want to see anyone left behind.
“We are keen to see 18 to 39-year-olds vaccinated and hope to reach our milestone of 75% take-up in this age group by the end of this month. Please take up your vaccine appointment; it offers protection to you, your loved ones, and your communities and it is our best route out of the pandemic.”
Jenny Spreafico, immunisation co-ordinator for Powys Teaching Health Board and a school nurse by background, said: “I want to thank everyone who has done their bit and come forward to get their vaccine so far and I want to encourage anyone who hasn’t yet to come forward for yours. If you can’t attend contact your health board to rearrange so no dose is wasted. More than 85% of people in Wales have had their first dose.
“Your vaccine offer will not expire – if you need more information, the Public Health Wales website can help. Getting the vaccine protects you, your friends, and family – and your community.”