Three care homes in Powys are leading the charge after announcing that they have already given all residents the first of the two vaccine jabs.

Every resident at Cartref care home in Hay-on-Wye, Prestemede care home in Presteigne, and Cartref Dyfi in Machynlleth have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccination, providing them with a high level of protection from the virus.

Shaw healthcare, which operates Cartref, Prestemede, Cartref Dyfi and nine other care homes in Powys on behalf of Powys County Council, is aiming to have all its residents and staff receiving the first dose of the vaccine by the end of January – several weeks ahead of the Welsh Government’s target.

Simon Kezic-Williams, regional director for Shaw healthcare, said: “I cannot describe how hard our staff have worked throughout this pandemic and the indescribable pressures it has put on them, as well as the residents. Despite this they have kept pushing forward and doing what they can to ensure residents remain safe.

“While we know we are far from being out of the woods yet, it is important we celebrate these milestones and some real progress in our battle against this horrible virus.”

County Times: Staff with the vaccine at Plas Cae Crwn in Newtown.Staff with the vaccine at Plas Cae Crwn in Newtown.

Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) staff have been visiting care homes across the county to provide vaccinations to residents.

Newtown District Nursing Team vaccinated 56 residents at Plas Cae Crwn and Bethshan on Tuesday, January 12, as the majority of Powys' care home residents for older adults will have received their first dose vaccination by the end of this week.

"Our thanks go out to all of our staff who are working so incredibly hard across the county to bring the COVID vaccination to as many people as possible as quickly as possible," a PTHB spokesperson said.

"This is a huge undertaking involving staff from across all disciplines and departments."

One of Shaw healthcare’s other homes in Powys, the Llandrindod Wells-based Wylesfield, was also recently highlighted after being one of the first care homes picked by the Welsh Government for its ‘visiting pod’ trial, allowing residents and relatives to meet up in a warm environment during the festive period, and beyond.

Mr Kezic-Williams added: “Although mass vaccinations are showing that the end is in sight, we know that residents and relatives want to see each other in a safe manner. While a chat on the lawn was feasible in the summer, the recent cold snap and the arrival of the more infectious variant, has made that nigh on impossible. We hope that more of our homes in Powys can access these visitor pods, which have already made such a huge positive impact for our residents in Wylesfield.”

Earlier this week, the Welsh Government announced that it aims to vaccinate all care home residents by mid-February.