Two vaccination centres are to be set up in Co Clare over the coming weeks.
As of February 5, 230,776 people have received a COVID-19 vaccine. 151,212 people have received their first dose and 79,554 people have received their second dose. As the roll-out of the vaccine continues, centres are to be set up across the country including two in Clare to administer the jab.
It is expected that the Radisson Blu Hotel on the county boundary with Limerick will be operational as a major centre by the end of February. Treacy’s West County Hotel in Ennis is also to come on stream as a centre at a later date. No timelines for the opening of either centre has been confirmed.
Speaking on Sunday, CEO of the HSE, Paul Reid confirmed that up to 40 large vaccination centres would be set up across the State. He said that the facilities could have 40 to 50 lanes for people to be vaccinated, while others may have 10 to 20 bays. The plans for the new facilities are being developed alongside the immediate plan for vaccinating those over the age of 70 in the Republic through GP practices.
Those over 70 will receive their first vaccination by mid-April and their second by mid-May, Reid outlined. It had originally been planned that the first doses would have been provided to those over 70 by the end of March.
HSE officials are to examine the Radisson this week to determine what needs to be done to ensure it successfully operates as a large vaccination centre. Plans for the West County are not as advanced, The Clare Echo understands.
Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) believed the use of the Radisson was “a hugely significant step as this would be a large distribution centre where all those living in south and east Clare can be vaccinated in accordance with the government plans”. The Meelick native added, “I believe there will also be smaller centres where GPs will be able to administer the injections once we reach mass distribution too so I am confident that there will be plenty of options for people to get vaccinated in Clare”.
Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard (FG) had tabled a motion to the February meeting of Clare County Council urging the local authority to assist the HSE in identifying a suitable location in the county to be used as a vaccination centre, a call which was supported by Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG). “Ongoing dialogue” between the Council and the HSE Mid-West will lead to centres opening up in Limerick, Tipperary and Clare, Chief Executive Pat Dowling confirmed.
Speaking on Monday, Cllr Ann Norton (IND) revealed that she has written to the HSE offering the use of the Clare Crusaders Clinic as a vaccination centre and also for small GP practices to utilise if they need a bigger area. “Unfortunately we’re unable to provide therapy at the minute but we’d be delighted to support the roll-out of the vaccine”.