Calls for more than one vaccination centre in Donegal

HSE says “satellite sites” in the county are under review

Boots Dundalk now offering a Travel Vaccination Service

Letterkenny Institute of Technology is to be one of 37 vaccination centres in the country and is the only centre to be announced for Donegal 

Calls have been made for the establishment of more than one Covid-19 vaccination centre in Donegal.

It was confirmed on Monday that Letterkenny Institute of Technology is to be one of 37 centres in the country. It is the only centre to be announced for the county. 

The HSE has said other “satellite sites” in the county are under review.

Sligo IT has also been designated as a centre and was used for the vaccination of GPs and practise nurses at the weekend.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said on Tuesday that if additional facilities are required they can be provided. 

The size of the county and its population have led to concerns that one centre is not sufficient. Cork will have five centres and Kerry is getting two.

The calls for more vaccination centres in the county came as the  HSE confirmed that some GP practices in Donegal will be vaccinating people aged over 85 this week.

Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle questioned whether one vaccination centre in a county the size of Donegal will be enough.

Killybegs, where he lives, is 48 miles from Letterkenny and about 55 miles from Sligo, the other nearest vaccination centre, he said.

“The aim of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout should be to make it as easy as possible to get as wide an uptake as possible,” he said. 

“There are a large number of people who would be normally healthy, but who wouldn’t have transport or the ability to get to Letterkenny.

“Again, we need clarity from this Government. Where do these vaccination centres fit into the overall plans for vaccine roll-out? Are they meant to complement pharmacies and GP clinics in terms of vaccine delivery? How will it be determined who must use these vaccination centres?” 

Inishowen

Calls have also been made for the establishment of a  vaccination centre in Inishowen.

Cllr Albert Doherty, who sits on the HSE Regional Health Forum West, said the experiences of people in Inishowen travelling to Letterkenny for testing when infection rates were at their peak showed that a vaccination centre is needed in the peninsula.

The issue of public transport means a local vaccination centre in Inishowen is crucial, he said.

“I knew a number of families where the trip to Letterkenny [for testing] took a lot out of them, even preparing for it,” he said.

“The peninsula is both big enough in numbers and in size to be a location for a vaccination centre.

“If there is to be a satellite site then it must be located in the peninsula,” he said. 

The Sinn Féin councillor said Covid-19 has been a “significant challenge” for the people of Inishowen.

“Now there must be a significant support response,” he said, calling for GPs, pharmacists, dentists and their staff to be involved in the vaccination programme.

 

 

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