Community and Hospital partner to vaccinate frontline healthcare workers

New Vaccination Centre established at Beacon Hospital to support HSE

Vaccinations have commenced for healthcare workers from across Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow (CHO7) and Beacon Hospital at a newly set up mass vaccination centre, managed and facilitated by Beacon Hospital.

Mary Paula Linehan, Public Health Nurse was the first person from CHO 7 to be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine against COVID-19 as part of the Beacon rollout. She was vaccinated by her Beacon Hospital Vaccinator, Martina Jensen, ICU Clinical Instructor.

Sandra Spain was the first healthcare worker in Beacon Hospital ICU to be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine against COVID-19. She was vaccinated by Martina Jensen, ICU Clinical Instructor and vaccinator.

The newly set up vaccination centre, once home to The Beacon Hotel and recently purchased by Beacon Hospital, has been totally transformed providing vaccination stations, appropriate social distancing in line with infection prevention and control guidance. The mass centre can provide minimum 100 vaccines per hour and has the flexibility to rapidly expand by adding additional vaccination stations. A peer vaccination team of up to 90 Beacon Hospital doctors and nurses will vaccinate staff Monday to Saturday ensuring that all personnel are protected in a planned and timely way. The vaccination centre at Beacon Hospital is one of the first in the country which will provide additional capacity to the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group and its Community partner, Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow (CHO7).  More than 900 doses of the vaccine are available to the facility, with further deliveries expected to support the scheduling plans for the ongoing programme across community and hospital services.

Ann O’Shea Chief Officer, Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow (CHO7) said, “We are delighted to extend the commencement of our vaccination programme by partnering with Beacon Hospital through our ongoing integration and partnership with the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group. With circa 7,000 staff to be vaccinated across our area, we have a mammoth task on our hands but one that we believe with patience and cooperation, we can deliver. The mass centre at Beacon Hospital will ensure we can immediate protect the first 550 staff who are patient facing, frontline carers such as our home support staff, social inclusion staff, Covid testing staff, Covid vaccinators, GP’s, mental health and disability personnel. We would hope to be in a position to progress the vaccination programme in a timely manner, however this is dependent on the vaccine availability. The increasing number of cases in the community is very concerning. We would ask our staff and community to work with us to flatten the current surge in covid cases. It is really within our hands. Please stay at home and protect yourself and others.

Brian Fitzgerald, Deputy CEO Beacon Hospital said, “Beacon Hospital is proud to support the HSE’s roll-out Covid-19 vaccines in the coming days, weeks and months, becoming the first private hospital in the country to open a mass vaccination centre today. The state-of-the-art vaccination centre was set-up by our facilities staff in just 72 hours, and I’d like to commend them for their efficacy and hard work in making this happen so quickly. I’m proud of the 90 staff members at Beacon Hospital who have volunteered to be vaccinators at the centre and support the national effort. I’d also like to thank senior personnel at the HSE for collaborating with us and supporting this important project.”

Mr. Trevor O’Callaghan, CEO Dublin Midlands Hospital Group said today: “The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group is very pleased to see the continued roll out of this crucial vaccination programme across our Hospital and community service. We have been extensively planning with Hospitals and their vaccination teams to coordinate the supply of the available vaccine and ensure all frontline staff and community healthcare workers can be vaccinated in a timely way. Vaccination teams have administered more than 9,000 vaccines across our Hospital Group, including community staff such as peer vaccinators, GPs and national ambulance staff. We are delighted to partner with Beacon Hospital to commence the roll out to HCWs in our private hospitals but significantly to vaccinate and protect home support, GPs, testing staff and mental and disability services for Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow (CHO7). We truly are grateful to the responsive and willing support we have received from private hospitals and today particularly, to Beacon Hospital, for investing their time to establish this mass vaccination centre. The potential and opportunity it provides to us as we continue to schedule our programme is immense.”

Ms. Eileen Whelan, Chief Director of Nursing at Dublin Midlands Hospital Group said, “Vaccinations work, and vaccination is key to ensuring patient and staff safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. We prioritise patient and staff safety equally during the pandemic and we continue to advocate to ensure vaccine allocations for all of our healthcare workforce.”

Worldwide, vaccines save at least 2-3 million lives each year – and protect many more from crippling and lifelong illnesses. Only COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorised by the European Medicines Agency, having met stringent safety and effectiveness standards, will be used in Ireland. All COVID-19 vaccines will be carefully monitored over time and updated safety data and information will be published and shared by the HSE, on our website and in our printed information materials.

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