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Covid-19 Vaccines: Delivery to Wales

Volume 688: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2021

What discussions he has had with the Minister for Vaccine Deployment on the delivery of covid-19 vaccines to Wales. (911545)

What discussions he has had with the (a) Minister for Vaccine Deployment, (b) Secretary of State for Defence and (c) Welsh Government on the delivery of covid-19 vaccines to Wales. (911547)

I have regular discussions with the Minister for Vaccine Deployment, the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, my hon. Friend the Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Nadhim Zahawi), as well as Defence Ministers and the First Minister of Wales, on the delivery of covid-19 vaccines. Rapid vaccine roll-out is key to us getting back to normality.

The work being done in Wrexham to manufacture the vaccine is quite literally saving lives in my constituency of East Surrey. Will the Secretary of State join me in extending our thanks to all those workers and the supply chain for the vital work that they are doing to protect the nation?

I am delighted to join my hon. Friend in that tribute. The Prime Minister and I visited Wockhardt in Wrexham a few weeks ago to see the fantastic work that it is doing. Hers, like so many stories, is a story of a successful Union. As we all know, the vaccine roll-out is not a competition between Governments; it is a competition between Government and covid, and the Union is central to that.

The logistical expertise of Her Majesty’s armed forces is second to none. What role are defence personnel playing in the vaccine roll-out in Wales?

The short answer is: a pivotal role. It has been a joy to behold the unbelievable enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism in Wales and across the rest of the UK from servicemen and women. We are regularly receiving requests from the Welsh Government for additional support, and we turn that support around in Cardiff just as soon as we can.

The mid-February target to vaccinate Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation priority groups 1 to 4 involves offering a dose to all those who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable. What discussions is my right hon. Friend having with the Welsh Government regarding the accuracy of data being used in relation to this group?

As my hon. Friend might imagine, there are regular discussions across all levels of government around data accuracy and the progress that we can make with this particular challenge. He is right to point out that it is, of course, a devolved issue. We are trying to ensure that we can find solutions to issues of a more permanent nature—perhaps persistent data problems, for example—but the ambition remains to get absolutely everybody in those cohorts done within the timescale, and we are currently on target to achieve that.