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People experiencing homelessness prioritised for COVID-19 vaccine in Wales

The Welsh Government has today announced that people with recent experience of homelessness will be prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccine as part of priority group 6 'Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group'.

This follows extensive work by Cymorth Cymru to evidence the increased risks facing people with experience of homelessness. Our Director, Katie Dalton, has written papers and delivered presentations to a number of Welsh Government vaccine meetings over the past two months, highlighting factors that put people with experience of homelessness at particular risk of catching and falling seriously ill from COVID-19. This includes a higher prevalence of underlying health conditions, people's experience of trauma, mental health problems and substance use issues, congregrate accommodation settings, and concerns that many people are not registered with health services.

The Welsh Government has issued a press notice, with both Vaughan Gething MS (Minister for Health and Social Services) and Julie James MS (Minister for Housing and Local Government) expressing their support for this decision.

Guidance has been published on the Welsh Government website which highlights the rationale behind the decision and encourages vaccination teams to be flexible, trauma informed and to take the vaccine to people in homelessness accommodation settings rather than requiring people to attend mass vaccination centres. The guidance also encourages vaccination teams to take an inclusive approach and to work in partnership with local authority homelessness teams and third sector support providers in order to ensure the greatest possible impact.

Read the guidance here:


Cymorth Cymru Director Katie Dalton said: 

“We are delighted that people experiencing homelessness are being prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccine in Wales. We have worked closely with the Welsh Government to evidence the particular risks to this population, and we are really pleased that Ministers have responded through the publication of this guidance. 

"As well as the higher prevalence of underlying health conditions, we know that people experiencing homelessness are less likely to be registered with health services and could have missed out on the vaccine. The inclusive approach set out today means that public services and support providers are empowered to ensure that people sleeping rough and in emergency or supported accommodation are not forgotten and get the protection they need from COVID-19."

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© Cymorth Cymru 2021
Company Registration No: 5093332
Charity No: 1116774