The COVID 19 vaccination programme across County Roscommon has now moved to the newly established Vaccination Centre located in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon. On 06 January a programme of vaccination of frontline healthcare workers commenced at Roscommon University Hospital, with the vaccine offered to healthcare workers across the hospital, community and other healthcare workers in the county. During January and February, vaccination teams comprising of staff from both Roscommon University Hospital and Community Healthcare West completed a programme of vaccinations across all Residential Care Facilities in Counties Roscommon and Mayo.
Paul Hooton, Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery at the Saolta Group which has overall responsibility for the vaccination programme across the west and north west said, “At this point, we are confident that almost all healthcare workers in hospitals have received the vaccination (first dose) and many have now received their second dose. There are many thousands of frontline healthcare workers working outside of hospitals and over the last number of weeks we have been steadily nearing completion for this group, which includes workers from the public and private health services, those employed by the HSE and those employed by funded agencies. We have also commenced the vaccination programme for the next group identified, these are people age 16-69 who are at very high risk due to their medical condition.”
Commenting, Ursula Morgan, who is the Director of Nursing at Roscommon University Hospital said, “We began vaccinating here in the Abbey Hotel yesterday and by the end of this week, we expect to have vaccinated 1,800 people. This includes healthcare staff and people who are age 16-69 at very high risk. We had been carrying out healthcare worker vaccinations in the hospital and have now moved the vaccination centre to the Abbey Hotel. Across the west and north west we have established six Vaccination Centres which will ultimately be used to deliver the vaccination programme to the wider public. Here in the new Roscommon Vaccination Centre, staff from Roscommon University Hospital and Community Healthcare West are administering the vaccine and we are currently recruiting additional staff, including vaccinators to ensure that we have the necessary teams in place to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme to the people of County Roscommon. We are also very grateful to Tom and Adrian Greally and the team at Abbey Hotel for their assistance in getting the Vaccination Centre up and running.”
Breda Crehan Roche, Chief Officer Community Health Care West added, “We are completing the vaccination programme across Older People’s Long Term Residential Care Facilities, both public and private, with less than 100 residents still to receive their second dose; last week we completed the vaccination rollout to residential service users in Disability Services, and we plan to vaccinate those attending disability day services in the week commencing 29 March. To date, Community Healthcare West has administered 17,671 vaccines. I want to acknowledge the commitment of all the teams who worked so hard often 12 hours a day, over seven days a week, to ensure that vulnerable people are protected. Our vaccination teams are now also working alongside our colleagues in Saolta to continue to provide vaccinations to healthcare workers. We will continue to work hard to deliver the vaccine to other priority groups. While the on-going vaccination rollout is really positive, COVID-19 continues to be transmitted in our community and we all need to stick to the public health guidelines.”
Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta University Health Care Group added, “This will be the single largest vaccination programme ever undertaken in the Irish state and it will require huge co-operation across the health services and across a range of state agencies. To date, we have been somewhat limited by the availability of the vaccine. We expect that to change over the coming weeks. We currently have access to 3 different vaccines and expect others to come on stream. Centres like the one in Roscommon will ensure that we have the infrastructure and teams in place and ready to deliver this vaccine to the wider community.”