Powys Teaching Health Board has congratulated the 50,000 Powys residents who have taken up their free COVID-19 vaccination and is urging the remaining 24,000 eligible individuals to take up their offer.

Both the COVID-19 and Influenza immunisations are included in the Wales-wide winter vaccines campaign, as both viruses present a potentially serious health threat particularly to higher risk individuals. Both vaccine are offered to everyone aged 50 and over, pregnant women, those with certain long-term conditions, unpaid carers and frontline health and social care staff. Flu vaccination is also offered to children from age two to school year 11.

Mererid Bowley, Powys Teaching Health Board’s director of public health said: “COVID-19 and Influenza present a significant threat to health. We offer free and safe protection to the highest risk groups in society to minimise the risks of health complications, serious hospitalisation, and death.

“Please take up the vaccination offer if you are eligible as it will lower your chances of contracting disease, or if you are unfortunate enough to catch either or both infections, it will reduce the severity of your symptoms.

“Flu is also on the increase but there is still time to get vaccinated. I encourage everyone eligible for flu vaccination to take up the offer.”

Flu vaccinations are delivered free throughout Powys by the county-wide network of GP practices and community pharmacies to eligible individuals. If you have not already taken up your offer, please contact your GP or ask at your local pharmacy. Remember that school-age children will normally be offered vaccine at school.

If you do not qualify for free NHS flu vaccination but would like the benefits of extra protection then many pharmacies also offer low cost paid-for vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccinations in Powys are available from Mass Vaccination Centres operated by Powys Teaching Health Board. These are situated in Newtown, Llandrindod Wells and Bronllys. If you are registered with a Powys GP and aged 50+ or a frontline health and care worker then you can drop in for your vaccine. To find out more about drop-in clinics please visit www.pthb.nhs.wales/covid-drop-in.

Mererid Bowley added: “Frontline staff in health and social care should also take up their vaccination offer too. They are at risk from infection through their work, but critically risk passing on infection to those they care for, who are among the most vulnerable groups in our communities.

“All of the Mass Vaccination Centres are operating drop-in clinics for the COVID-19 vaccination for eligible health and social care staff. Just bring your proof of employment, such as an ID card, and you can get protection there and then.”

More information about COVID-19 vaccination in Powys is available from www.pthb.nhs.wales/KeepPowysSafe.