08 Aug 2022

Offaly Covid vaccination centre will not open this month

Tullamore Vaccine centre to open on May 3

The vaccine centre at the Tullamore Court Hotel will open on May 3

THE Court Hotel in Tullamore is currently being fitted out as a vaccination centre and is due to open on May 3.

Appointments for people to attend the centre in Tullamore are expected to commence this week.

It will be one of 37 centres around the country and cater for large numbers of people.

Meanwhile, vaccinations of those aged 65-69 who have registered will begin this week in the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise and Athlone Institute of Technology.

Councillor Sean O'Brien has expressed his disappointment that the centre in Tullamore will not open until May.

''I was informed of this at a meeting today of the HSE Regional Forum. Other counties are starting their vaccination programme this week and I am asking why we are going to be two weeks behind. People have registered to be vaccinated and they are very keen to receive the vaccination. I am asking the relevant authorities in the HSE to review this start date for Offaly," stated Cllr O' Brien

Meanwhile the HSE say the centres will have varying opening hours and will be within short driving distances for those accessing them. People will be allocated to a centre based on their eircode. '

'The only limiting factor to the vaccine rollout programme is the international supply.''

Some Offaly people in their late 60s were surprised to learn they have to go to the Aviva stadium in Dublin to get their jab. It's understood these are people in high risk categories who were referred by their GPs rather than those who have registered online.

However, some have expressed concern that having been extremely careful in maintaining the 5k rule and more recently not travelling outside the county, they will now have to use public transport to get there. Others were reluctant to ask to be referred to a local centre in case it would result in delays.

For those without a car getting to the Aviva may require a train or bus journey to Dublin, then perhaps a Luas to get into the city and the Dart train or taxi out to Lansdowne road where the Aviva is located.

The vaccine being offered to people aged 65 to 69 is the AstraZeneca. Controversy has surrounded this particular vaccine as it has been linked to blood clots in a small number of people.

AstraZeneca has been approved for use by both the EMA (European Medicines Agency) and NIAC (National Immunisation Advisory Committee), It is recommended for use in people aged over 60.

Des O’Flynn, Chief Officer, Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation, said, “Our staff have been working very hard to implement the vaccination programme since the beginning of the year, we are nearing completion of vaccination of healthcare workers, with the vaccination programme in residential settings already completed and we are working on cohort 4. The next phase will see the opening of the identified vaccination centres throughout the Midlands counties for the next cohort, those aged between 65-69. This is a positive and welcome step towards ensuring we can vaccinate people as quickly as possible. I would like to acknowledge the work and commitment of all our staff who are supporting this delivery. We look forward to welcoming those aged 65-69 for vaccination in the coming weeks.”

The HSE has issued an update regarding the Covid situation in Offaly:

*There is no particular setting or source of public concern currently in Offaly.

*The number of new cases and the 14 day crude incidence rate is reducing currently.

*Most new cases are household contacts of an index case, who's day 10 test is positive.

*Those index cases are coming from a range of settings, mostly work, some vulnerable and educational settings.

Those registering can do so on 1850 241 850.

Bookings are currently underway for the 65 to 69 age groups.

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