Covid Vaccine Newsletter from Swansea Bay University Health Board

Date: January 20, 2022

Edition number: 33

Introduction:

Cases of the Omicron variant are falling as are the number of people being admitted to hospital with Covid.

This good news has led the Welsh Government to begin the process of relaxing restrictions from level 2 down to level 0 by the end of January.

There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. It’s also too early to take our eye off the ball because infections in our communities remain at very high rates, even if they are coming down.

Health and social care services remain under serious pressure and, if we’ve learned anything during this pandemic, it’s that things can and do change very quickly.

By continuing to take up the offer of the vaccine alongside other protective measures like wearing face masks, we can have some influence over what happens next.

Data proves that vaccinations drastically reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalisation with Covid.

1st, 2nd and booster doses are now widely available with no appointment needed or via a self-bookable appointment across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

There has never been a better opportunity to have your first vaccination or to get that missing dose.

We’re also about to start vaccinating those children aged 5 to 11 who are at increased risk from Covid due to a health condition or who live with someone whose immune system doesn’t work properly.

Details of all vaccination sessions can be found in the latest news section below.

Latest news

Vaccination of 5 to 11 year olds with underlying health conditions and those aged 5 to 11 who live with people who are immunosuppressed

Last month the independent group that advises the UK governments on vaccination, the JCVI, recommended that children aged 5 to 11 who are in a clinical risk group or who live with someone whose immune system doesn’t work properly (immunosuppressed) should be vaccinated.

.     How will they be called for vaccination?

We will shortly send out appointment letters to the children who are classed as clinically at risk as defined in the Green Book, which has all the latest information on vaccination in the UK.

These letters will be followed up by a text message.

Those at risk are children with chronic respiratory disease, including poorly-controlled asthma, chronic heart, kidney and liver disease, disease of the digestive system, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, children with learning disabilities, diabetes and whose immune systems don’t work properly.

Go to the Green Book for the full list of clinical risk groups under table 4.

Those children who live with someone who is immunosuppressed will be identified via an online form, which will be rolled out shortly for parents and carers to fill in. We’ll post more details on our social media channels as soon as we have them.

.     Where will 5 to 11 year olds be vaccinated?

For the comfort of the children we will be holding clinics in Singleton Hospital’s children’s outpatient department starting on Saturday, January 29th.

.     What vaccine will they receive?

They will receive a smaller than normal dose of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine. It’s about a third of the adult dose.

Most children will receive two doses, with 8 weeks in between.

A small number of children will need 3 doses.

.     What about vaccine safety and side effects?

Trials and real-world data show it is safe for 5 to 11 year olds and offers protection against Covid. Minor side effects such as a sore arm have been reported. Some children may also feel unwell after the vaccination and  have a fever and flu-like symptoms. This is just the normal response of their immune system and should pass quickly.

Extremely rare reports of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) have been reported in young people following vaccination with mRNA Covid  vaccines. In the UK, the reporting rate for under 18s is 11 per 1 million doses.

In the US where over 300,000 first doses were given to 5 to 11 year olds, there were no reports of myocarditis noted (data to 26 November 2021).

.     What about other 5 to 11 year olds?

The JCVI will issue advice in due course.

How to get your 1st, 2nd or booster dose:

.     BOOK AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE for the Bay Mass Vaccination Centre, The Princess Royal Theatre and our containers (local vaccination centres) outside Pontardawe Leisure Centre and Swansea Guildhall, for this week and next week. Vaccinating ages 12 and over. Please note there is limited availability of appointments at the theatre.

Go to this page to book a Covid vaccination online.

.     DROP IN at the Bay Mass Vaccination Centre, near Amazon, SA1 8QB,  any time between 9am and 8pm, 7 days a week, age 12 and over.

Go to this page for directions and details of free bus services to the Bay MVC from Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot.

.     DROP IN to our containers (local vaccination centres) outside Pontardawe Leisure Centre and Swansea Guildhall up to and including Friday, January 28th, between 9am and 3.30pm, age 12 and up. Closed Saturdays and Sundays.

.     DROP IN to one of 15 community pharmacies. FOR AGES 18 AND OVER.

All pharmacies are using Pfizer – except Vale of Neath which has Moderna.

This drop-in system replaces the previous community pharmacy selection form which is no longer available.

List of pharmacies providing drop-in Covid vaccinations, days and times:

Newbury Pharmacy, 35-37 Newton Road, Mumbles, Swansea, SA3 4BD, Wednesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm.

Vale of Neath Pharmacy, Vale of Neath, Chain Road, Glynneath, Neath, SA11 5HP, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Penclawdd M Rees, Sea View, Penclawdd, Swansea, SA4 3YF, Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 12pm and Sunday 11am to 1pm.

Well – Urban Village, Unit 4, Urban Village, 215 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW, Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – St Helens, 165 St Helens Road, Swansea, SA1 4DQ, Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – Beacon Centre for Health, The Beacon Centre for Health, SA1 8QY, Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – Gendros (Ravenhill), 118 Ravenhill Road, Ravenhill, Gendros, Swansea, SA5 5AA, Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – Clase, 94 Rheidol Avenue, Clase, Swansea, SA6 7JS, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – Morriston Woodfield, 103 Woodfield Street, Morriston, Swansea, SA6 8AS, Monday and Tuesday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – West Cross Alderwood Rd, Well – West Cross, 8 Alderwood Road, West Cross, Swansea, SA3 5JD, Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – Gorseinon, 2 Alexandra Road, Gorseinon, Swansea, SA4 4NW, Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – Sketty, 5 Dillwyn Road, Sketty, Swansea, SA2 9AQ, Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – Neath, 130 London Road, Neath, SA11 1HF, Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – Skewen, 37 New Road, Skewen, Neath, SA10 6UT, Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 4pm.

Well – Cwmllynfell, 56 Gwilym Road, Cwmllynfell, West Glamorgan, SA9 2GN, Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm.

Harbourside Health Centre booster clinic

Harbourside Health Centre is running a pre-bookable booster clinic for patients on Sunday, January 23rd.

Patients registered at the surgery can pre-book an appointment for their booster vaccination between 9am and 4.30pm.

Please only attend if you received your second Covid-19 vaccination more than 12 weeks ago and if you haven’t tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 28 days.

To book an appointment, please call 01792 481456 or 01792 702700.

Go to this page on our website for all the latest Covid vaccination sessions and information.

Latest Covid vaccination figures

Please note: Figures correct as of 1.30pm on Wednesday, January 19th. These figures are for the Swansea Bay University Health Board area, not the whole of Wales.

1st dose: 301,656

2nd dose: 279,851

3rd dose (for the immunosuppressed): 6,878

Booster dose: 207,905

Running total (1, 2, 3 and booster doses): 796,290.

That’s all for this week. Many thanks for reading.

Funeral Notice for Mr Brian Hull

Reflections on the Covid Years

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Wolf Moon

The January full moon is traditionally called the Wolf Moon because wolves can be heard howling at the moon more around this time of year. It was believed that wolves howled more during the winter due to hunger.

Taken by Mike Davies (RDN Photographer) — January17th.2022

Winter of Wellbeing

Free, fun activities for 16-24 year olds living in Neath Port Talbot

Covid Vaccine Newsletter from Swansea Bay University Health Board

Date: January 7, 2022

Edition number: 32

We now have wide-ranging availability for anyone aged 12+ who needs a 1st, 2nd or booster vaccine, subject to eligibility, including drop-ins and self-bookable slots. Details below in latest news.

8s and those under 18 in an at-risk group need to wait 28 days from the date of the positive test before coming in for vaccination. It’s 12 weeks for those under 18.

Let’s get on with the rest of the updates.

*Vaccine figures can now be found at the end of the newsletter*

With Omicron spreading fast, it’s vital you come forward and take up the offer.

Missed or will miss a vaccine appointment because you’ve tested positive for Covid? There’s no need to cancel or reschedule if you can’t make an appointment we’ve sent you. We have systems in place to make sure slots and vaccines aren’t wasted.

Just use our drop-in or online booking service when you’re ready.

Latest news

How to get your 1st, 2nd or booster dose for ages 12+.

    1st, 2nd or booster DROP IN ages 12+ – Bay Mass Vaccination Centre, near Amazon, SA1 8QB. Drop in anytime between 9am and 9pm, seven days a week. Vaccination subject to eligibility. Pregnant women are welcome and will be fast tracked if they make themselves known to security at the entrance. Go to this page for directions and details of free bus services to the Bay MVC from Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot.

    1st, 2nd or booster BOOK ONLINE ages 12+ – The Princess Royal Theatre, Civic Centre, Port Talbot, SA13 1PJ. NO DROP INS. Vaccination subject to eligibility. Go to this page to book a slot for vaccination at The Princess Royal Theatre.

The form is titled boosters, but you can book whatever dose you need.   BOOSTERS ONLY at community pharmacies for 18+. FILL IN FORM – LINK BELOW. You can choose to have your booster at one of 20 community pharmacies across our area. More community pharmacies are joining the list all the time. This service was previously only open to those on the housebound list who were able to get to a local pharmacy. We’ve now opened it up to everybody eligible for a booster who is 18 or over. Ideal for those who would like to get their booster in a quieter place.  Go to this page to register your interest and select the nearest or most convenient pharmacy for you. We will then contact you with an appointment.

You can also ask these pharmacies to add you to a reserve list, which they hold. A list of the pharmacies taking part is on the form, link above.

    Eligibility and dosing schedules:

2nd doses

If you had your 1st dose a while ago and didn’t get around to having your 2nd, there is no need to restart the course. Come in for your second dose as soon as possible.

12-17 not at risk: At least a 12-week gap between 1st and 2nd.

18+: At least an 8-week gap between 1st and 2nd.

Booster: There must be a gap of 13 weeks or more between a 2nd or 3rd primary dose and a booster.

 We will continue to schedule people in for appointments as they become eligible and would ask that you try to keep these appointments if possible. But the options set out above are easy and convenient alternatives.

Dedicated drop-in, no-obligation sessions for pregnant women

Dedicated drop-in sessions are now available for pregnant women who are yet to receive their 1st, 2nd or booster Covid vaccines.

Sessions will be held at the Bay Mass Vaccination Centre between 9am and 1pm this Saturday, January 8th, Sunday the 9th and Saturday, January 15th and Sunday the 16th.

Staff will be available to answer any questions and there is no obligation to have the vaccine.

Those attending are asked to bring their All-Wales Maternity Record.

If childcare is an issue, you can bring young children along with you.

We advise you to keep any vaccine appointment you receive in the meantime, if you can.

Pregnant women who catch coronavirus are at more risk of severe illness and hospitalisation.

Vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing coronavirus in pregnancy and are safe for you and your baby.

Temporary closure of Gorseinon MVC

Canolfan Gorseinon Centre will temporarily close next week. Those with appointments for Gorseinon will be contacted and redirected to the Bay MVC or community pharmacies.

The closure will allow us to put extra staff out into the community to increase the rate at which we’re boosting the housebound.

Margam MVC has now closed

Our MVC at The Orangery, Margam Park, has now closed as the building has been returned to Neath Port Talbot Council.

Our operation has relocated just a few miles away to The Princess Royal Theatre in Port Talbot.

We’d like to give huge thanks to the council for letting us use the beautiful Orangery for a year, and for the use of the theatre.

Latest Covid vaccination figures

Please note: Figures correct as of 12.45pm on Friday, January 7th. These figures are for the Swansea Bay University Health Board area, not the whole of Wales.

1st dose: 300,402

2nd dose: 276,345

3rd dose (for the immunosuppressed): 6,576

Booster dose: 193,020 (70% of the population has been boosted.)

Running total (1, 2, 3 and booster doses): 776,343

That’s all for this week. Many thanks for reading.

Information Regarding a Temporary Resolven Post Office

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Snow in the Vale of Neath

Light snow on the Vale of Neath Mountains

A sprinkling of snow on the Gnoll Park Neath.

Taken 05/January2022

Mike Davies RDN Photographer

A Skulk of Foxes Spotted Locally

 I took the car and had a short walk over Neath Mountain..  I could see flashes of colour but I  had to be on tip toes not to disturb what ever could it be, and to my amazement it was a “Skulk” of foxes.

 i have  never seen anything quite like it but it made my day

A group of foxes is called a “Skulk.” The word skulk comes from a Scandinavian word that means to wait, lurk, or move invisibly

Mike Davies –RDN Photographer

EDITORMike has done a lot of “waiting, lurking and moving invisibly” himelf over the years , capturing superb images for RDN.