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Expecting attending maternity services in the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise are being encouraged to attend special walk-in Covid-19 vaccination clinics at the Laois vaccination centre, according to the HSE.
Health authorities say women will be able to get the Covid-19 dose 1 and dose 2 vaccines at the clinics. There will also be special Clinics at the Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar which also has a maternity unit.
Prof Chris Fitzpatrick is the Clinical Lead for the vaccination programme for the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which included Portlaoise hospital. He is also a consultant obstetrician.
He appealed to women and their partners to avail of the opportunity to protect themselves against the virus because of the significant risk Covid-19 presents during pregnancy.
“The walk-in vaccination clinics have proved to be a very popular option for people who have not been able to make a scheduled appointment. Although we are well advanced in the vaccination programme, we know there are still people requiring vaccination.
"Covid-19 poses significant risks in pregnancy to both mothers and their unborn babies - including admission to intensive care and stillbirth. There is now considerable evidence to show COVID-19 vaccines are very safe throughout all of pregnancy, and offer the very best protection to women who are pregnant. Both NIAC and the HSE recommend women who are pregnant or trying for a baby to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
"We therefore appeal to women and their partners as well as other family members to get the vaccine. We will continue to work with obstetricians, midwives and GPs to ensure we can provide clinics with the necessary flexibility to meet the additional needs of women who are pregnant - and greatly appreciate the feedback that we have received from women attending our vaccination centres," he said.
In a statement, the HSE said it also encourages women to talk to their obstetrician, midwife or GP about getting their COVID-19 vaccine if they are pregnant. Following this consultation, the HSE said women can attend for a vaccine at a walk-in vaccination centre at various locations across the country.
The HSE added that factual and updated information on the COVID-19 vaccine is available on the HSE website. The HSE said encourages all women to read the information, and to discuss vaccination with their obstetric caregiver.
You can also attend any of the participating vaccination centres around the country. Please see a link to the timings and locations of the walk-in vaccination centres here. Please note timings in the designated vaccination centres will vary across locations.
The HSE says all Covid-19 vaccines are free of charge and will give you protection against the virus.
The dates, times and locations for the clinics for Portlaoise and Mullingar are detailed below and women and their partners are welcome for vaccination.
Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, Laois Vaccination Centre, St Fintans Campus
Thursday 10.30am to 4pm
Saturday 10.30 am to 4pm.
Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar, Outpatients Department
Wednesday27th October 1 pm to 5 pm
Thursday 28th October 1 pm to 5 pm
Friday 29th October 9am -1 pm
Monday 1st November 10am -3.30pm
Wednesday 3rd November 1pm-5 pm
Friday 9am -1 pm
What to bring:
If you have already registered online, please bring a photo Id with you. ID can include one of the following: passport, drivers licence, Garda age card, student/school ID etc, but if your ID doesn't include your date of birth, please bring proof of your DOB (e.g. your Birth Cert).
If you are not registered online, we will have to register you at the vaccination centre. Please bring the following with you:
The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the vaccine being offered at the dose 1 walk-in vaccination centres.
If you attend the walk in-clinic for dose 1, the HSE will send you an appointment for your second dose by text message to your phone.
Further information on vaccines in pregnancy can be read here: https://bit.ly/3CpIyMo and the Royal College of Physicians Ireland (RCPI) have developed a suite of information resources which can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/316pchE
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