By Lesley Griffiths

MS for Wrexham

I wish I could talk about something more positive in my last column before Christmas but the rise of the Omicron variant is causing a great deal of concern. It is expected to become the dominant form of coronavirus by the end of the month, bringing a new wave of infections and illness. Latest studies suggest two doses of the vaccine is simply not enough to give the level of protection against infection we all need. A booster dose is vital so the speed of the rollout is being accelerated further.

It was the Welsh Government's intention to offer everyone a booster dose by the end of January but such is the severity of the situation, the aim now is to offer every eligible adult an appointment by the end of December.

It is a massive undertaking and we are all incredibly grateful to the dedicated NHS staff and vaccination teams leading the fight against Omicron. Vaccinating people is the priority once again, at least in the short term, and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is confident it can offer all eligible adults in Wrexham and North Wales a booster jab by 31st December.

In recent days, hundreds of additional staff and volunteers have joined the vaccination teams. It is enabling vaccination clinics to extend their opening hours and for additional clinics to be introduced. Many more GPs and community pharmacies are also beginning to deliver boosters.

Hundreds of thousands of appointments have already been issued, with health boards across Wales texting or phoning people who have had their first and second dose to offer them a booster appointment.

The most important thing you can do in the coming days and weeks is to make sure you attend your appointment and get boosted in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the Omicron variant. On behalf of my constituents, I also want to thank our amazing NHS staff and everyone involved in the vaccination programme once again for all their hard work.

The situation is changing frequently as we learn more about the Omicron variant. Some information may have already changed since I wrote this article so if any constituents have any queries, please contact me via email: or call 01978 355743.

Nobody wanted this disappointing news in the run up to the festive period but I do hope Wrexham Leader readers stay safe and have a happy and peaceful Christmas.

My constituency office will close at 1pm on Thursday 23rd December and reopen on Tuesday 4th January.