GP surgeries on the Herefordshire border have started to give the coronavirus vaccine to patients as all 16 practices in Powys start the roll-out.

Coronavirus vaccinations in Powys have been taking place at three mass centres in recent weeks, at showground at Builth Wells, Bronllys Hospital between Brecon and Hay-on-Wye, and in Newtown.

But now the jabs are being given to patients at their own surgeries, meaning the Powys health board is hoping to be able to deliver 7,000 each week as supply ramps up.

Haygarth Medical Group, which runs surgeries in Hay-on-Wye and Talgarth, said clinics have been taking place this week.

"The clinics will run similarly to the flu campaign with a one way system through the building, which worked well. Our staff have all been undergoing necessary training and are excited to be involved.

"We will be phoning the patients to book them into the clinics – please do not contact us.

"As many of you will be aware, Powys Learning Health Board (LHB) have already been vaccinating the over 80 age group. We will be starting with the over 75 age group and those over 80 who have not yet been vaccinated.

"We will be extending the programme to the next group in the population when we are advised by the LHB, who are providing us with the patient lists to arrange the appointments. This will also be dependent on the supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the practice.

"The Covid vaccines are extremely safe with over 160,000 doses already delivered in Wales and very effective at preventing serious illness from the Covid virus."

Powys Teaching Health Board said in a statement that doctors in Presteigne were ahead of other surgeries in rolling out the vaccines to its patients.

They said this was due to licensing technicalites, which did not affect Presteigne Medical Practice as it is directly managed by the health board.

"Presteigne Medical Practice has used other health board premises at Knighton Hospital to help ensure that the vaccination programme is delivered in a way that maintains social distancing and keeps everyone safe," the statement added.

"With vaccination also beginning in GP practices it remains vital that as many people as possible continue to take up the invitation for vaccination at mass vaccination centres.

"This is because mass vaccination centres use the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and we have reliable supplies of this in good quantities.

"The more people who accept the invitation to a mass vaccination centre, the quicker we will be able to vaccinate everyone in Priority Groups 1 to 4 - and then moving into all nine priority groups.

"GP-led clinics use AstraZeneca and the deliveries are not yet in such reliable quantities as Pfizer/BioNTech."

Builth Wells resident Pat Borland was one of the first people to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at a GP practice in Powys on Monday, with practice nurse Gill Gorton administering the jab.

In the south of Powys in Ystradgynlais, Ian Stuttard was vaccinated by Julie James and was the first of 80 people vaccinated at the practice, which plans to vaccinate over 600 by the end of the week. Ian said: “I feel privileged to be the first vaccine recipient. It could save my life.

“I appreciate the skills and hard work of all those involved in creating and distributing the vaccine.”