The location of the Radisson Blu Hotel as Limerick's mass-vaccination centre has been criticised | PICTURE: LIAM BURKE/PRESS22
AN Taoiseach Micheál Martin has defended the location of Limerick’s mass Covid-19 vaccination centre – but has left the door ajar for a second one opening.
There has been criticism this week after the Radisson Blu Hotel was announced as the only large-scale vaccination site in Limerick, with people criticising the Ennis Road venue as being too inaccessible.
The facility is in fact located just slightly over the Clare border near Meelick.
Speaking on Limerick Today on Live 95, Mr Martin said: “The Radisson Hotel is about 300 yards into Co Clare from a strictly geographic perspective, but it has easy access to people from Limerick city. The basic model will be GP-led and GP surgeries in every community. These will still be the primary location for the administration of vaccines.”
“The vaccination centres will be supplementary when we get to a mass vaccination stage, depending on volumes of vaccines coming into the country, and that will be around the April/May period when the utilisation of these centres will be needed,” he said, “Each HSE area put forward various centres to the national operations team.”
Asked if there is going to be another mass-vaccination centre in the middle of the county, Mr Martin said: “Government wants to provide as many opportunities for citizens to be vaccinated as possible. The majority of citizens will be vaccinated in GP’s surgeries, in pharmacies. The HSE has recruited and government has supported recruiting additional health personnel to administer vaccines.”
“If there is a need for an additional vaccine [centre] in Limerick, that can certainly be looked at," he said.
He added government “does not have an issue at all”, with providing a second vaccine centre, if an amended request came in.
“We are not dictating the operational side of this, we want to make sure that as many citizens as possible can have access to the vaccination as they are rolled out. As soon as we get vaccines in, we want to administer them,” he added.