THE administration of 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine at the three vaccination centres in the Mid West was marked last Friday by an appeal for continuing vigilance against the threat posed by the virus.
The half-million milestone was reached after a significant acceleration of the vaccination programme in the pre-Christmas period, fuelled by demand for vaccine boosters and take-up of walk-in clinics for boosters and primary dose vaccines.
At least 88,065 booster doses have been delivered to date and attendances at walk-in clinics are now in excess of 51,000.
Almost 26,000 vaccines have been delivered to 12 to 15 year olds in the region to date, and 8,086 vaccines have been delivered to children between five and 11 years of age since the start of 2022.
The 500,000 total does not include vaccinations administered in the region by the National Ambulance Service, General Practitioners and pharmacists.
Vaccination teams have also been busy with mobile vaccination clinics to deliver more than 22,000 vaccines to people in residential care settings, mental health services, to adults and children with physical and intellectual disabilities, prison services, and many who would have found it difficult to attend the vaccination centres.
HSE Mid West Community Healthcare chief officer Maria Bridgeman, said that to reach 500,000 Covid vaccinations in Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary was a testament to the general public and their trust in the vaccines and in the qualified and dedicated professionals who administer them.
Speaking at the Limerick centre last Friday, Irene O’Connor, General Manager of the Mid-West Vaccination Centres, acknowledged the extraordinary public response to the vaccination programme.
“The programme got under way on January 4, 2021, and it is a privilege to have served the people of the Mid-West to the point where we can mark the half-million vaccines milestone. This work will continue, but today it is wonderful to reflect on this achievement and acknowledge the support of the public for the vaccination programme.”
UL Hospitals Group chief executive Professor Colette Cowan said it was wonderful to see all three centres so busy with children who’d been brought for their first or second vaccine doses by their parents.
“Thanks to the broad societal take-up of vaccination, we have built a defence that has been sufficiently robust to prevent the contagiousness of the coronavirus’s Omicron variant from translating into an equivalent rate of serious illnesses and hospitalisations,” she explained.
“However, we must remain focused on the Covid threat, so our vaccination efforts continue. The centres are running walk-in and self-scheduling clinics for primary and booster doses and we urge anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to avail of these opportunities to get the vaccine,” Prof Cowan stated.
Details of all walk-in clinics are available at https://bit.ly/3e0gtRj