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vaccination image

Coronavirus: vaccination data

Published 18/02/2021   |   Last Updated 18/02/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

In January the Welsh Government published its vaccination strategy for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. The strategy sets three key milestones with broad timings for when the adult population of Wales will be offered a first dose of a vaccine.

This article provides an overview of publicly available vaccination data. We will regularly update this article as more data becomes available.

At the time of writing, data on overall progress towards the Welsh Government’s milestones are still not publicly available either at a Wales level or at health board level. There is a lack of data on who is receiving a vaccine with a significant number of vaccinations not being categorised in a priority group

On 18 February PHW published its first report on inequalities in vaccination uptake which provides a breakdown of vaccinations by priority group, age, sex, ethnicity and deprivation quintile. The report highlights that 71.5% of those aged 80 and over from the from Black, Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic groups received a first dose of a vaccine compared to 85.6%  in the white ethnic group aged 80 and over. In older adults, the inequality gap between those living in the most deprived and least deprived quintiles of areas in Wales was 5.7%, 4.4% and 5.2% for adults aged 80 years and older, 75 to 79 and 70 to 74 years respectively.

We have also recently published articles on vaccine deployment, the increased pace of the rollout and the infrastructure each health board is using to deliver the vaccine. For more information on cases and deaths from COVID-19, read our article on coronavirus statistics.

There is a delay between people receiving their vaccination and when it’s reported by Public Health Wales (PHW). PHW says that “data entry will be incomplete at the time of [the] daily report and the number of people vaccinated will be higher than these totals”.

How many people have received a dose of a vaccine?

As of 18 February 2021, Wales has administered 822,633 first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, which accounts for 26.1% of its total population.

Number of first doses and second doses with the percentage of the total population who have received a vaccine

Number of first doses and percentage of total population who have received a first dose of the vaccine

Source: UK Government

Note: The population of each UK nation is based on most recent Office for National Statistics data and therefore includes those under the age of 16 who won’t be offered a COVID-19 vaccine.

The map above shows how Wales compares to the other UK nations on the percentage of the total population who have received their first and second dose. The graph below show the percentage of the population aged 16 and over who have received their first and second dose of a vaccine over time.

You might see different population percentages being used in relation to the vaccination rollout. Some sources compare vaccine doses to the total population (as in the map above), and others compare doses to the population aged 16 and over as there is currently no plan to vaccinate those under 16. We are presenting both to show the difference.

Percentage of population aged 16+ who have received a vaccination by first and second dose

Percentage of population aged 16+ who have received a vaccination by first and second dose

Source: Public Health Wales

How is the rollout in Wales progressing?

The first milestone

The first vaccination strategy milestone is to have offered a first dose of a vaccine to everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 by mid-February 2021. This includes:

  • 1. People living in a care home for older adults and their staff carers;
  • 2. People aged 80 and over, and frontline health and social care workers;
  • 3. people aged 75 and over, and
  • 4. People aged 70 and over and those people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (previously shielding).

On 12 February the First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford, announced that the first milestone had been met.

There is currently not enough publicly available data to understand how many people in each priority group have been offered a vaccine.

As of 18 February, Public Health Wales (PHW) data only shows progress against some of these groups of people included in the first milestone. According to PHW, there are:

  • 164,645 people who are 80 years and older;
  • 123,609 people who are aged 75 to 79;
  • 168,049 people who are aged 70 to 74;
  • 63,949 people who are clinically extremely vulnerable;
  • 14,453 care home residents; and
  • 35,727 care home workers.

PHW data doesn’t include the number of social care workers or how many within this group have received a vaccine.

As of 18 February, 822,633 people have received a first dose of a vaccine, of these 691,892 were reported by PHW as being in one of the priority groups.

Percentage of people who have received first vaccine dose by priority group

Percentage of people who have received first vaccine dose by priority group

Source: Public Health Wales

*The health care worker group size can be calculated from table 1.2 in the Monthly Surveillance report available on the PHW dashboard. This gives a group size of 139,634 although this is not explicitly stated as being the total group size by PHW.

The Welsh Government says that “vaccination is not mandatory, therefore, it is possible we may not reach 100% of every cohort because some people will choose not to have the vaccine”.

The second milestone

The second vaccination strategy milestone is to offer the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to priority groups 5 to 9 by the end of April 2021. This includes:

  • 5. people aged 65 and over;
  • 6. those over the age of 16 with an underlying health condition;
  • 7. people aged 60 and over;
  • 8. people aged 55 and over; and
  • 9. people aged 50 and over.

The Welsh Government says appointments are being scheduled for those in priority groups 5 and 6 first.

As of 18 February, PHW has not published any data on the number of people that have received a first dose of a vaccine by priority groups 5 to 9.

How is the rollout progressing in each health board?

Each local health board is currently publishing different data so it’s not possible to clearly understand the progress being made overall towards the first or second milestone.

However, PHW publishes the number of reported doses given by each health board, and the proportion of those aged 80+, aged 70-74, aged 75-79 and care home residents that have received a first dose.

Total number of vaccine doses administered by Local Health Board of residence

Total number of vaccine doses administered by Local Health Board of residence

Source: Public Health Wales

The graph below shows the percentage of care home residents, people aged 70-74, aged 75-79 and those 80 and over who have received a first dose of a vaccine by local health board.

Percentage of people who have received a first dose of a vaccine by priority group and Local Health Board of residence

Source: Public Health Wales

A lack of detailed data

In January the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) wrote to UK administrations, including the Welsh Government and PHW, about the publication of vaccination data.

It emphasised the importance of the data for assessing whether the governments are meeting their vaccination targets.

The OSR has called for more progress in the following areas:

  • more detail by age group, ethnic group and the JCVI priority groups;
  • which vaccine people are receiving (Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca); and
  • information on those who have been offered a vaccine and those who have taken them up to understand why some people may not be receiving a vaccine.

Further information

More information and data on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout can be found in the following links:


Article by Lucy Morgan, Joe Wilkes and Helen Jones, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament