Asthmatics will not be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination

People with mild to moderate asthma will not be vaccinated before those with no underlying health conditions, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales stated today.

Severe asthma sufferers, who could die from contracting COVID-19, have already been vaccinated, said Frank Atherton.

Data released by Asthma Wales and British Lung Foundation Wales shows that people who suffer from asthma of any level are at a greater risk of being admitted to hospital with Covid-19, and one in 10 are likely to suffer long-Covid afterwards.

Joseph Carter, the Head of Asthma Wales, says that people who develop long Covid are a major cost to the NHS”.

“We know that people with asthma make up about 14.5% of Covid cases in hospital. It is a real concern for us and people are terrified. It wouldn’t take a lot for the Welsh Government when they are looking at who to prioritise first [to consider] people with asthma as a priority.”

However, in today’s Welsh Government Press Conference, Atherton said people will now be vaccinated according to their age. People aged 40 to 49 are due to be vaccinated next, after those over 50 receive it in the coming weeks.

Atherton said this includes those with asthma.

“People who have mild asthma or use an inhaler occasionally will be managed according to the age profile,” he said.

“So wherever they fit in the age profile, that’s when they’ll be vaccinated.”

Emma Sandrey, a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Cardiff, she says that even if asthma is under control, it doesn’t mean you are completely safe.

“Just because a condition is managed, it doesn’t mean you’re not vulnerable,” she said.

“I’ve got mild asthma. I was convinced in March last year that [if I got Covid] I would die. Even in the weeks before lockdown happened we could see what was coming and we were frustrated at the inaction of the Welsh Government.”

Asthma Wales said that this decision by the Welsh Government ignores the evidence around the dangers Covid poses to asthmatics and have called on them to reconsider this decision.

The Government aims to vaccinate all of Wales by the end of July.