Powys residents are being urged to get their Covid vaccines before the end of the universal vaccination programme.

The plea follows the announcement by the Minister for Health and Social Services that the universal third dose - which was offered to everyone in Wales aged over 16 and to at risk individuals from five years old - will cease on March 31.

Nicola Benge, Consultant in Public Health for Powys Teaching Health Board said: “In January the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) made recommendations for changes to the universal vaccines offer, which was designed to ensure that everyone received an offer of a vaccine.


“In Wales that recommendation has now been accepted, as the nation moves from an emergency pandemic response to Covid-19 to managing it on a more sustainable ‘business as usual’ manner. Therefore, in Powys, like the rest of Wales, we will be following the Minister’s recommendation.

“This means that the universal offer of the initial two-dose primary course of the vaccine that was offered from December 2020 to all of the population aged over five will cease on 30 June 2023. The universal booster dose will cease on 31 March 2023.”

Within the county Powys Teaching Health Board’s Mass Vaccination Centres (MVCs) – located in Newtown, Llandrindod Wells and Bronllys – will continue delivering ‘walk-in’ COVID-19 vaccines until the respective primary dose and booster universal offers end on June 30.

As the Welsh Government signals the end of the universal ‘leave nobody behind’ COVID-19 vaccines offer, Powys Teaching Health Board is urging Powys residents to act now if they remain unvaccinated.

“In addition to the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Ms Benge. “Powys’ MVCs are also offering free NHS walk-in flu vaccinations for all eligible adults, with free children’s flu vaccines available on a pre-booked basis.

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“Many of the county’s GP surgeries are also maintaining their free flu vaccine offer, so it is best to check with your local surgery if their available times and location suit your personal circumstances better.

“It is very important that everyone most at risk from serious complications from Influenza takes up their vaccine offer.

"Flu is more likely to be serious if you have a long-term health condition, are pregnant, or are older. The people at high risk of COVID-19 are generally the same people at increased risk of becoming very ill with flu. Flu can also be serious for young children.

“The disease is continuing to circulate, and as a vaccinated individual you cut your chances of catching a severe infection considerably.”

For more information about respiratory illness vaccines in Powys, which includes COVID-19 and Flu, please visit https://pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/ and https://pthb.nhs.wales/flu/ respectively.