Almost 49,000 people have been given the first dose of the coronavirus vaccination in one health board region of Wales, it has revealed.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which covers Newport, Monmouthshire, Caerphilly, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent, confirmed on Monday that 48,841 people have been immunised since the vaccination rollout began in early December.

To date 20,471 people aged 80 and above, along with over 14,000 frontline health staff, have been given the first dose of the jab.

The health board also confirmed that due to the "good progress" made in vaccinating people aged 80 year and over, during this week GPs within Gwent will complete offering vaccinations to this age group.

As a result, those people from priority group 3, i.e. individuals aged between 75 and 79, have started receiving invites for their vaccinations.

A statement from the health board added: "To date we have vaccinated residents from 89 care homes for older adults and staff from 90 care homes for older adults across our health board.

"Older adult care homes we haven’t yet been able to go to are continually being risk assessed and we will vaccine those staff and residents as soon as it is safe for us to do so."

Phyllis Reece, 79, following her Covid vaccination

All health boards are following the advice from the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) when it comes to priority groups and have plans in place to vaccinate these groups in order of priority.

This includes:

  1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. Those aged 80 years and older plus frontline health and social care workers
  3. Those aged between 75 and 79

The health board also announced that it will be opening a sixth mass vaccination centre later this week in Newbridge.

This will be in addition to its other sites in Newport, Abergavenny, Ebbw Vale, Ystrad Mynach and Cwmbran.

All vaccination centres in the region are available by appointment only and people will be contacted when it is their turn to be immunised.

"This week we have a planned supply of 22,150 vaccine," a statement from the health board said.

It added: "If you receive an appointment, please do everything you can to attend as we are vaccinating thousands of people every week.

"We continue to develop our booking centre process and call centre and plan to increase capacity as supplies increase. This means we can improve the service we offer as we have noticed the lines can get very busy at times."