THE Welsh Government is not "holding back" supplies of coronavirus vaccines, a Welsh Government minister has said.

Kirsty Williams denied the Welsh Government were delaying the use of the Pfizer vaccine, saying they were "as keen as anybody" to distribute the vaccine.

The education minister was speaking at the Welsh Government's press briefing when she was asked about the vaccine rollout in Wales following comments from the first minister this morning.

Mark Drakeford had said that Wales’s supply of the Pfizer vaccine had to last until February and therefore was not being used all at once, a move the British Medical Authority called "extremely concerning".

Ms Williams said: "We are not holding back any supplies of the Pfizer vaccine or the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

"We are distributing Pfizer in a careful way to ensure there is infrastructure in Wales to deliver it safely and crucially to avoid any wastage because is is such a precious resource.

"It is important to say that all of our vaccinators who are working in our vaccination centres, and increasingly working out of GP surgeries and other spaces of primary care, are working flat out, as is the Welsh Government, to speed up the vaccination program.

"We are not delaying the use of the Pfizer vaccine and we are as keen as anybody to get this vaccine out to people.

"As soon as we got legal notification that we could move from a double dose regime to a single dose regime, we have been ramping up the facility to deliver the Pfizer vaccine as quickly as possible.

"I am confident that we remain on track to reach all of those in the top four vaccination groups by mid February."


The minister added that Wales would be home to 45 mass vaccination centres by the end of the week.

As of 10pm on Sunday, 152,000 had received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and all front line Welsh Ambulance Service staff had been vaccinated.

Addressing supply concerns, Ms Williams said: "At present we have supplies of the Pfizer vaccine to take us forward.

"There are some issues with production of the Pfizer vaccine emanating from Europe which is why it is really important we can supplement that with the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

"We expect to see increasing numbers of that coming to Wales this week and next week.

"Of the supplies of Oxford Astra-Zeneca we had, some 95 per cent has already been used."