Covid-19 vaccinations are now being offered to those in the Group 4 cohort
THE Health Service Executive has confirmed the administration of vaccines for those at very high risk of severe Covid-19 disease is now underway in Limerick.
Individuals within this cohort are now being invited to attend clinics at the vaccination centre at the Radisson Blu Hotel on the Ennis Road on the outskirts of Limerick city.
The changes to the vaccine allocation strategy, announced by government yesterday, means those classified as "very high risk" are now classified as Group 4 and are accordingly being invited for vaccination earlier than planned.
As of 1pm on Tuesday a total of 2,364 patients in the Group 4 cohort had been vaccinated by UL Hospitals Group vaccination teams.
A UL Hospitals Group spokesperson confirmed that people in Group 4 are currently being identified and asked to attend for vaccination at the Radisson Blu Hotel.
For most people, they will receive a text notification to their phone notifying them of their booking, and prompting them to reply whether they can or cannot attend. The text will also provide a contact number for queries, and a web-link for further information. Patients should bring their phone with this text, along with ID, as proof of their appointment.
People who receive the text who have already been vaccinated, are asked to reply ‘NO’ so that their clinic appointment can be offered to somebody else.
Colette Cowan, Chief Executive Officer of the UL Hospitals Group, commented: “Even though it is in its early days, our vaccination programme is already paying dividends and providing us all with hope that, finally, we are on the offensive against this virus. Infections among the vaccinated groups, including our care home residents and frontline healthcare workers, are reducing rapidly and we are now moving on to another vulnerable group, those with medical conditions which put them at very high risk."
Prof Brian Lenehan, Chief Clinical Director of UL Hospitals Group, added: “Work to identify patients who are in Group 4 and who are now prioritised for vaccination is ongoing, and we look forward to inviting people in this group to our vaccination centres over the coming weeks. As this phase of the programme gets underway, it has given us all great encouragement that those who are among the most at risk of Covid-19 are now receiving their vaccine.”
According to Prof Lenehan, people from Group 4 are being identified through their hospital team. "It will take some time to identify and invite everyone in this group, but we will move as quickly as possible. You do not need to register in advance or take any action at this time. Your hospital team will contact you when it’s your turn to be vaccinated,” he said.
The UL Hospitals Group plans are in place to open the vaccination centres in Ennis and in Nenagh in the coming weeks as the vaccine supply increases.