Limerick students urged to attend on-campus Covid-19 vaccination clinics

COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen coronavirus covid-19

Pop-up vaccination clinics are taking place at UL, LIT and MIC this week

THIRD level students attending colleges in Limerick are being encouraged to avail of the free walk-in Covid-19 vaccine clinics taking place this week.

Starting today, the pop-up clinics will take place at University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology, and Mary Immaculate College.

Each campus will host two days of free walk-in vaccine clinics for those who wish to avail of their first or second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The clinics are being led by UL Hospitals Group.

LIT: Monday, September 27 & Thursday, September 30 (10am-7pm both days)

UL: Tuesday, September 28 & Wednesday, September 29 (10am-7pm both days)

MIC: Tuesday, September 28 and Wednesday, September 29 (10am-7pm both days)

In accordance with national guidance, those who received a first AstraZeneca vaccine are able to receive a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Commenting on the walk-in clinics at colleges, Dr Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health Mid-West, said: “Young people have shown great leadership throughout the entire pandemic, and they deserve to be rewarded with a rich university and college experience having missed out on this over the past 18 months. There are numerous benefits to being fully-vaccinated against Covid-19. Primarily, it will give you increased protections against serious illness and hospitalisation."

Dr Mannix added that while young adults are less likely to develop serious illness than the older and more vulnerable, the Department of Public Health Mid West has seen a number of young people, including students, hospitalised with Covid-19.

“Due to the social nature of student life, unvaccinated students are at a higher risk of infection with Covid-19 in the coming weeks and months. Those who are unvaccinated, Covid-19 could also have adverse effects on their physical health, both in short- and long-term," she said adding that being a close contact of a confirmed case can cause significant disruption to a young person’s life, and will result in exclusion from social activities and on-campus classes.

Meanwhile, according to the latest provisional figures, vaccination rates in the Mid-West continue to steadily increase among all eligible age groups.

For example, 96.1% of the adult population in Limerick has had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine while 71.3% of people in the 12-17 age cohort have been vaccinated. 

“The vaccination effort in the Mid-West has been a great success, with much of the population now fully vaccinated. However, we must remain alert against complacency. Vaccination is the most effective way to limit the spread of Covid-19," said Patricia O'Gorman, Clinical Lead for the Mid-West Covid-19 vaccination centres.

"The active and mobile social lives of students, and the classrooms and lecture halls of campus settings, heighten the risk of infection, serious illness or hospitalisation for those who are unvaccinated. By fitting a vaccination appointment at the campus pop-up clinic into their schedules, students can help all of society take a big step forward in bringing a long-awaited end to this public health emergency,” she added.

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