Laois GP Dr Michelle Byrne was vaccinated at a mass vaccination clinic she helped run in Portlaosie at the Killeshin Hotel
Family doctors in Laois have appealed to the public not to call them about vaccination arrangements as it is putting a strain on the running of practices around the county.
The Laois GP group, which includes Laois Faculty of the ICGP and MIDOC out of hours service members, have issued the appeal to the public in a statement in which they thank their patients for the work to date and urge them to stick with the measures to contain the third wave in the county.
"We are heartened to see the day-on-day reduction in case numbers and expect hospital admission to reduce shortly. We would like to thank everyone in our community for their efforts which has most certainly contributed to this reduction.
"However, it is important that we all continue in our efforts to suppress this virus so that we may see a return to normal life in the not-too-distant future. It is vital that we continue to keep our contacts to a minimum & stay at home except for non-essential purposes. The arrival of several vaccines has added to our armoury in the fight against COVID-19," said the statement.
Laois GPs say they are looking forward to assisting in the roll-out of the vaccination programme in our community in the coming weeks.
"The first roll-out of the vaccination programme will involve GPs and their teams vaccinating those patients that are over 70. It is expected that we shall commence with those over 85 in the first instance and then over 80 and so on.
"Each practice will have different arrangements in place to roll this out and will advise their patients accordingly," they say.
But a date for the commencement of community vaccination has not been announced nor as the vaccine to be used by GPs and pharmacists been approved for use in Ireland.
But the doctors in Laois have been inundated with queries. They have appealed for patience and urged the public not to contact them.
"We are receiving a large volume of calls in relation to vaccine queries. Each practice will adhere to the recommended roll out as advised by the HSE and the National Immunisation Committee
"The large volume of vaccine-related queries via phone and email to surgeries is placing additional strain on the administration system of GP practices locally. We ask that you avoid contacting your GP surgery to be put on a list as there are no lists. If you have concerns or are seeking advice in relation to the vaccine, please find below a list of recommended sites where you may find the answer to your query," the say.
The doctors say the HSE site contains information about who should receive the vaccine, its safety, immunity, and side effects. There are also patient information leaflets found on this site.
The directed people with queries about vaccination and pregnancy to the following link contains the most up to date information.
The following link has a decision-making aid for pregnant women offered the vaccine.