Mass vaccination centre to open in Swansea on Monday

A mass vaccination centre in Swansea Bay will open on December 21 at the Bay Field Hospital.

The area in question is separate from where patients would be treated at the £20 million facility, off Fabian Way.

Swansea Bay University Health Board director of public health, Keith Reid, said: “Initially it will be used to provide vaccines to frontline health and care workers, including care home staff who are the top priority for vaccination.

“Members of the public should not attend the mass vaccination centre at this stage.

“As more vaccine becomes available, appointments will be opened to other priority groups in line with the UK guidance.”

He said there was plenty of parking available and good flow in and out of the vaccination site to maintain social distancing and help with infection prevention and control procedures.

Dr Reid has previously said the jab would be given from Margam Orangery and Canolfan Gorseinon as well as the larger Bay Field Hospital.

The health board, which covers Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, aims to eventually vaccinate 3,200 to 3,300 people per day seven days a week, depending on supplies and numbers of staff to deliver the injections.

Meanwhile, some clinical staff at Morriston Hospital have already had the Pfizer/BioNTech jab in recent days. It is the first of a number of vaccines health leaders and politicians hope to roll out in the coming months.

The imminent opening of the Bay Field Hospital vaccination centre was mentioned in a meeting this week by Swansea Council’s director of social services, Dave Howes, who painted a bleak picture of the situation facing social care and health staff.

Mr Howes said three care homes in the region were close to having to decant all their residents into hospital because so many care staff were absent, mainly because they were isolating as they were a close contact of someone with Covid-19 or had the virus themselves.

Domiciliary care, he said, may have to be restricted to people in critical need although he said “we are not quite there yet”.

Staff, he said, were exhausted.

Mr Howes also said surging case numbers were currently forecast to double every nine days, although in some areas it was just seven days.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart has called on people not to mix at all over Christmas.

Initially the four UK governments agreed that people would be able to travel anywhere in the UK to form a bubble of three households between December 23 and 27.

This week the Welsh Government reduced that to just two households, and said it would be making the rule into law.

Cllr Stewart said: “Even though we can share two households together, I think we really should not.

“The risks have never been higher than they are now.”

He said he would be spending Christmas with just his father, despite coming from a large family.

Wales will go into a “level four” lockdown, the highest possible, from December 28 with some sectors closing during the Christmas period.

WalesOnline – Wales News