Covid boosters will be offered in Wales this autumn, the Health Minister has confirmed.

The confirmation came as the Welsh Government published its COVID-19 vaccine strategy for the coming year, with the elderly, those clinically vulnerable to the virus and those "most at risk" continuing to be prioritised.

The government says that the Covid vaccine online rebooking service, which was launched this month and allows individuals to reschedule their injection appointment, will be used for non-Covid vaccination programmes in future.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “Vaccines have had an enormous impact on the course of the pandemic and have helped to weaken the link between the virus, serious illness, hospitalisations and death.

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"They have saved countless lives and given us the freedom and confidence to restart our lives in the midst of an ongoing global health emergency.

“This strategy sets out our plans for 2022 and beyond, including a commitment to deliver a regular COVID-19 vaccination programme while planning for any potential surge capacity, should we need to, in the case of a new pandemic wave or a new coronavirus variant.

“I want to thank everyone who has come forward to be vaccinated and made the decision to protect themselves and others.

"I also want to thank the many thousands of people working in our vaccination programme including all staff and volunteers.”

The strategy today includes a National Immunisation Framework, which aims to integrate the Covid vaccine with other immunisation programmes, such as that the flu jab, that run through the year.

The government says it aims to "encourage high levels of uptake, reduce mortality, ensure equity of access and opportunity, effective deployment and provide value for money."

Though the Health Minister has confirmed an autumn Covid booster programme, further details are yet to be announced.

To date, just under 7million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Wales, with around 70 percent of the over-12 population having received two doses and a booster.

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