Two mass vaccination days for health staff have been held in Portlaoise while a local centre has been equipped for mass vaccinations
Mass vaccination centres for the public such as the facility at the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise will begin to operate in late March, according to the HSE in the midlands.
The team running the response to Covid-19 in Laois and other counties said vaccines are currently being administered in healthcare settings, to front-line healthcare workers, and to people aged 70 and over by their GPs across 1,300 practices throughout the country.
“At the moment, vaccine administration is limited only by the supply of approved vaccines and that is dependent on the manufacturers meeting their supply commitments. The HSE is engaged in creating an expanded vaccination infrastructure, managing a suite of vaccine products with different handling and delivery requirements.
“Using CSO Census population data, the HSE has located 37 vaccination centres, ranging in capacity from 10 to 50 vaccination booths, which will be used to vaccinate the wider population. Criteria for selection included ease of access, transport links and parking. They are being rolled out now, with some being used to support the GP-led element of the vaccine roll-out.
“These centres will come on stream as needed, with a dedicated workforce, from late March/early April. All centres will be ready in advance of the need to match vaccine supply which, based on current information, is forecast to reach a peak in Quarter 2.
“The HSE has developed a vaccine rollout programme that is flexible and agile to respond to what is an evolving situation internationally. It is an iterative process and we must be in a position to adapt and change as the rollout continue.
“GP's will be in contact with their clients directly in respect of vaccination dates and times,” said the HSE.
The Portlaoise vaccination centre has already been used for frontline workers.