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Live Reporting

George Herd and Ben Frampton

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye

    That brings us to the end of our live coverage of the latest Covid briefing in Wales

    The main points:

    • The rollout of the first Covid-19 vaccine will begin in Wales within days, after it was given approval
    • However, it is not yet known when all care home residents will be able to receive a Covid-19 vaccine
    • Wales' top doctor says the vaccine is safe - and he would be happy to have the jab himself
    • But Dr Frank Atherton has warned that coronavirus is continuing to circulate widely
    • There have been 51 further deaths with the virus recorded, as well as 1,480 more infections

    Until our next briefing update, you can continue to follow all the latest developments online, on BBC Radio Wales and Wales Today on BBC One

  2. Timetable on vaccine programme needed, says Plaid

    Plaid Cymru says it wants to see a timetable set out for delivering the Covid vaccine in Wales.

    The party’s deputy leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth, told BBC Wales Today that people also needed assurances the rollout would be managed fairly across the country.

    “Despite this being a really very, very important turning point, the light starting to glimmer at the end of the tunnel, there are lots of questions still about when does this begin in Wales,” he said.

    "Give us a timescale, because I would have thought that from the second they had approval – we are at that point – there would be a timetable.

    "What I want to make sure now is that Welsh Government is driving this forward, we’ll be playing our part in scrutinising to make sure that happens."

    Rhun ap Iowerth
  3. Total deaths in Wales at 2,614

    Map of Covid-19 deaths in Wales by health board area
  4. Nearly 1,500 new cases and 51 deaths recorded

    A further 51 people have died with Covid-19, according to Public Health Wales.

    It means there have now been 2,614 deaths with the virus recorded in Wales since the beginning of the pandemic.

    There were 1,480 new infections also recorded yesterday, taking the number of cases in Wales to 82,489.

    A woman being tested for Covid
  5. Appoint vaccine minister, says Welsh Conservatives

    The Welsh Government should appoint a dedicated minister to manage the Covid vaccination programme in Wales, says the Welsh Conservatives' health spokesman,

    Andrew RT Davies said the health minister already had a "massive in-tray" to deal with.

    “What they need is a minister completely focused on delivering the vaccine here in Wales, because we know for a fact that there’ll be different forms of vaccines which will require different logistics," he told BBC Wales Today.

    "I think it’s incumbent on the first minister to focus on putting a minister in charge to drive this programme forward."

    Mr Davies said there also needed to be a prominent information campaign to reassure the public, and tell them how the programme will work.

    Andrew RT Davies
  6. Will the vaccine stop community transmission?

    Chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton said it was not known yet whether the first Covid-19 vaccine would stop transmission of the virus.

    He said data on the Pfizer/BioNtech jab is "pretty good" at stopping people getting infected and having serious infections.

    "We just don't know yet whether it will stop transmission.

    "That will only be known to us in the fullness of time when vaccines are rolled out."

    He said "we still need to remember that there are some really important things that will keep us safe" as the process of vaccination is started.

    "This is still going to be a very difficult winter. The NHS is going to be under pressure - it's under pressure now.

    "We have to all continue those really important things around social distancing, respiratory hygiene, the face-space-safe message that we've all become so familiar with.

    "It's really important that we don't throw away the gains of the last year when the light is now at the end of the tunnel."

    Christmas shopping in Cardiff during 2020 Covid pandemic
  7. Younger people will have to wait for vaccine

    Younger people in Wales will only receive the Covid vaccines when the over-50s have had their jabs, the chairwoman of the vaccination programme says.

    Dr Gill Richardson was being quizzed on why students will have to wait longer, while some have suggested they have played a role in transmission of the virus.

    But Dr Richardson said it was clear younger people tend to have fewer and milder symptoms and were less likely to end up in hospital.

    As part of a UK-wide agreement, she said: “We have been told that everybody over 50 will be vaccinated first and I’m sure that once that has been done then the whole thing will be looked at again to look at the younger age groups.

    “It’s probably been very difficult if you’re a student to be hearing that many people feel that you’re responsible.

    “But for all of us really we would say it’s not a matter of age. It’s a matter of our proximity to each other.”

    Three students walk past billboard in Cardiff
  8. 51 more Covid deaths in Wales

    Despite the positive news on vaccinations, the chief medical officer said it was clear there is "wide scale circulation of the coronavirus here in Wales".

    Dr Atherton said yesterday saw nearly 1,500 cases of the infection recorded, and 51 further deaths.

    The latest official figures are due to be published shortly.

    Dr Atherton added: "The rate of coronavirus transmission is increasing and that's happening to all parts of Wales.

    "That's why this week, unfortunately, the Welsh Government has announced some further restrictions on hospitality and indoor entertainment in the run-up to Christmas."

    Dr Frank Atherton
  9. Vaccine scrutiny 'no less stringent'

    Checks for the first vaccine to be approved have been "no less stringent" than any other vaccine, despite the speed at which the process was completed, Wales' leading doctors said.

    Dr Gill Richardson told journalists the reason vaccines usually take so long to be developed was due to issues such as funding and the need for sufficient volunteers for the various phases of trials.

    She said there had been "overwhelming goodwill to share" among scientists with this vaccine and "funding has not been a problem".

    Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine
  10. Vaccine 'passports' dismissed

    The woman leading the vaccine programme in Wales said she did not anticipate people being turned away from pubs and restaurants if they could not prove they had been given a Covid jab.

    It follows a decision to issue those receiving vaccinations a record card.

    Addressing questions on the issue, Dr Gill Richardson said: "The issue of the record cards is one that’s being looked through at UK level at the moment.

    “We hope that people will come and have this extremely precious and significant commodity for free of their own volition, but there's no compulsion.

    “And we are not anticipating in Wales, that the hospitality sector will be turning people away.”

    Dr Frank Atherton and Dr Gill Richardson give vaccine briefing
  11. Side effects 'rare'

    Serious side effects from the new vaccine “are extremely rare”, the chairwoman of the vaccination programme in Wales has insisted.

    Dr Gill Richardson said people might get a sore arm or occasionally a raised temperature but “it’s a very safe vaccine”.

    She added that the “safety profiles” were “really good” for the elderly and those that have clinical conditions .

    “We are extremely pleased to be offering what we feel is a very safe vaccine to the Welsh population,” she said.

    Covid-19 vaccine
  12. How long will the rollout take?

    It will be “well into next year” before the entire Welsh population has been vaccinated against Covid-19, says Dr Atherton.

    He told the Welsh Government's Covid briefing the task would be “a massive undertaking”.

    Speaking to reporters following the announcement that a vaccine has been approved, the chief medical officer said: “We have never in the UK - certainly in my professional career - probably ever undertaken a mass vaccination programme of this nature where our ambition is to eventually reach the whole population.

    “That is clearly not going to happen overnight.

    “This is going to be well into next year before we get through this and that reflects the fact that we need to have access to stocks, and of course the logistics of managing something on that scale are absolutely enormous.

    “We will work our way through those priority lists.

    “It's fantastic news that we're going to be able to be starting this as soon as next week, but everything else depends on when we get stocks and how quickly we can start to roll it out but we were looking well into next year before the whole population is covered.”

    Vaccine vial
  13. Vaccines safe, says Wales' top doctor

    Dr Atherton said large-scale trials showed the approved vaccine and two others being considered were safe.

    The chief medical officer said there were many clinical trial phases a vaccine must go through before it can be used in the general population.

    He added: "All three vaccines, which have reported phase three results following large-scale trials, have reported positive safety data and efficacy."

    He told the briefing he had no qualms in having the vaccination when his turn comes around.

  14. Care home challenge for vaccine rollout

    Wales' top doctor has been unable to say when care home residents will get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

    Chief medical officer Frank Atherton told the briefing that getting the vaccine to care homes was a "work in progress" and it was "very difficult" to provide the vaccine to care homes.

    The vaccine has to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, which poses logistical challenges across Wales.

    Dr Atherton said initially it will have to be provided to a limited number of sites, but added: "We're trying to find ways with this vaccine to provide a more disseminated approach to distribution."

  15. Beginning of the end of pandemic in sight?

    Wales' chief medical officer said he hoped the approval of the first vaccine marked the start of the end of the pandemic.

    "This is our hope," Dr Frank Atherton told Wednesday's briefing.

    "The main aim of vaccination will be to protect those who are most vulnerable and to prevent people from developing a severe illness if they are exposed to the virus.

    "We hope it will also reduce community transmission."

  16. Who gets it first?

    “The first groups to be offered the vaccine will be people living and working in care homes, people aged 80 and over and all frontline NHS and social care workers," confirmed Dr Richardson.

    “We’ll then offer it to other age groups and those at highest clinical risk.

    “People will be invited to come and have the vaccine through the NHS – we’ll be holding special vaccine clinics to make sure people can receive the jab, while keeping normal NHS services free to see people.

    "The vaccine is the best way to protect people, but no-one will be forced to have it if they don’t want it”.

    She said she would encourage people to take the vaccine and help save lives.

    Care home resident and carer
  17. Rollout 'not without challenges'

    “We have tested our plans," said Dr Richardson.

    "These are not without challenges, as one of the vaccines must be stored at ultra-low temperatures.

    “We are training healthcare staff to give people the jab and we can finalise the legal frameworks so the vaccine can be given to people."

    The UK government has pre-ordered tens of millions of doses of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines and Wales will receive a population share.

    Dr Richardson said both of these vaccines require two doses to be effective. They must be given four weeks apart.

    “We will be vaccinating people who are most at-risk of catching coronavirus and developing serious illnesses first, based on the recommendations from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations."

  18. Vaccine 'glimmer of light'

    The decision to approve the first Covid-19 vaccine is a "significant step forward in our response to this pandemic," said Dr Gill Richardson, chairwoman of the vaccination programme board in Wales.

    "For the first time we have an opportunity to prevent this awful illnesses," she told the Welsh Government's Covid-19 briefing.

    Coining a phrase used by the first minister, Dr Richardson said: "We have a glimmer of light at the end of what has been a very long and difficult year.

    "We hope approval for the second - the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine - will follow later this month, giving us more options.

    "We are ready to start vaccinating as soon as we receive the first supply of the vaccine."

  19. How will it all work in Wales?

    With up to 1.4 million people in line to get a Covid-19 vaccine in Wales in the months ahead, officials say it will be one of the biggest health programmes ever mounted.

    The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use.

    The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe for use.

    But how will it be rolled out?

    Preparations in Wales started in June and the Welsh Government hopes the first vaccines will be given within seven to 14 days.

    To start with, everyone over 50 will be offered the vaccine in the coming months.

    We've been looking at some of your questions on the vaccine - and what it will mean: Q&A - How will the rollout work in Wales?

  20. Vaccine programme 'ready' to rollout

    The rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations will start in Wales "within a matter of days," the Welsh Government has said.

    The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use.

    It will initially be prioritised for older care home residents and health and social care workers, followed by those aged 80 plus and care home staff.

    The jab offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness.

    The priority 10 groups represent 60% of the population but also 99% of all deaths linked to Covid-19.

    The Welsh Government said the vaccine would not be mandatory.

    "Our intent is to vaccinate as many eligible people as possible, as swiftly as possible, safely, and with minimal vaccine waste," it said in a statement.

    Two specialist sites had been identified as appropriate delivery sites for the vaccine and local health boards would collect the vaccines directly from these sites, it added.

    Vaccine production