Covid: 'All over-50s in Wales offered vaccine by target date'

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image captionAll people in the top nine priority groups have been offered a vaccine, the Welsh government says

All over-50s and at-risk adults with underlying health conditions have been offered a Covid-19 vaccine in Wales, according to the Welsh government.

The government said it had hit its target after First Minister Mark Drakeford said everyone in the top nine priority groups would be offered a first jab by Sunday.

All four UK governments had promised to reach the milestone by mid-April.

The Welsh government said it had achieved its "second milestone".

It comes after the top four priority groups in Wales, which is made up of all over-70s, including care home residents, were offered a jab by mid-February.

On Monday, Public Health Wales said 1,490,372 people had received a first dose of the vaccine, and 467,683 had had both doses and were fully vaccinated.

"I can confirm that the second milestone has been achieved, all phase one priority groups have been offered a vaccine by the NHS," a Welsh government spokesman said.

"We are encouraging people in these priority groups who haven't yet had a vaccine to contact their local health board to arrange it."

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies said:??"This is a true??British??success story and I would like to thank everyone involved, especially our incredibly hard-working??vaccination??teams and armed forces who have gone above and beyond delivering the rollout programme.

"This is a significant milestone we can all celebrate as we continue on the road to recovery."

Plaid Cymru's health spokesman Rhun ap Iorwerth said reaching the milestone was "testament to the hard work of our wonderful NHS staff and the army of volunteers who have gone beyond the call of duty".

"The vaccine rollout gives us hope and confidence that we are moving in the right direction and it must continue at pace to ensure that the people of Wales are vaccinated as quickly as possible. We need to know what this milestone now means for further easing of restrictions."

The Welsh Liberal Democrats said it was "good news" and thanked staff who worked over Easter.

"We must continue this roll out to ensure everyone in Wales is vaccinated as quickly and safely as possible," the party's health spokeswoman Jo Watkins said.

Meanwhile, everyone in England is to be given access to two rapid coronavirus tests a week from Friday, under an extension of the UK government's testing programme.

When asked if people in Wales would be offered the same service, the Welsh government said it was "already providing access to over 22% of our total population to regular testing", and that this was growing.