PEOPLE in Pembrokeshire are being urged not to put any more pressure on the NHS by phoning healthcare providers to ask when they will receive their coronavirus vaccine.

Residents are being reassured by Public Health Wales that, when they are in a group eligible for vaccination, they will be contacted.

"Members of the public should not phone their GP, pharmacy or hospital asking when they will get a vaccine," said Dr Eleri Davies, incident director for the Covid-19 outbreak response at Public Health Wales.

"When someone is in one of the groups eligible for the vaccine, they will be invited to attend a dedicated clinic which will have been set up to ensure patient safety and that of the healthcare professionals."

Dr Davies added that the effects of the vaccines may not be seen nationally for some time, and that residents must continue to follow the advice on keeping Wales safe; staying at home, meeting only the people they live with, maintaining social distancing, washing hands regularly, and working from home where possible.

The roll-out of the second coronavirus vaccine, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine began in Wales on Monday.

The priorities for vaccination in the first instance are people aged 80 or above, people who live or work in care homes and health and social care workers at high risk.

"Vaccinating the adult population of Wales, to protect people from severe disease, is a significant task, and the vaccine will take time to reach everyone," said Dr Davies.

"The epidemiology of COVID-19 throughout the UK in late 2020 showed a clear need for rapid, high levels of vaccine uptake among vulnerable persons."

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines are administered through a two-dose vaccine schedule.

"Given the data available, and evidence from the use of many other vaccines, PHW fully supports the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and immunisation) advice to increase a maximum interval between the first and second doses of 12 weeks for both vaccines," Dr Davies added.

She said that it can be assumed that protection from the first dose will wane in the medium term, and the second dose will still be required to provide more durable protection.

The JCVI is advising initially prioritising delivery of the first vaccine dose as this is highly likely to have a greater public health impact in the short term and reduce the number of preventable deaths from Covid-19.