Social care leaders in Wales are seeking clarification over “wildly fluctuating” second COVID vaccine rates in the over-80s age group.
Care Forum Wales says that variations between 0.1 per cent (in Pembrokeshire) to 48.4 per cent (in Torfaen) put care homes in an impossible position regarding indoor visits.
Trials find that the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine provides 76 per cent efficacy against symptomatic infection from day 22 to day 90 post-injection, rising to 82 per cent on second vaccination after a gap of 12 weeks or more.
Care Forum Wales chief executive Mary Wimbury says it is important that people are able to have the second jab to provide better protection. Care homes in Wales that record positive cases during the routine weekly testing will be flagged as red and the whole home will be closed down for 20 days.
The organisation of care providers in Wales will be contacting Public Health Wales to ask for reassurances that distribution will be fair and more even across Wales.
Wimbury added that many care homes are terrified amid concerns a vaccine-resistant variant of the virus could appear at a time when health experts are convinced a third wave of the disease is inevitable. She said:
“Infection and community transmission rates still vary in different parts of Wales and the Kent variant and other mutant strains are a real cause for concern.
“What we don’t know is how effective the vaccine is against some of the newer variants of Covid, particularly with what’s going on in Brazil.
“Anyone that thinks we’re out of the woods needs to think again because the resumption of indoor visiting must be done extremely carefully.”