One of the bays at the new vaccination centre in the Limerick Racecourse
THE county’s new Covid-19 vaccination centre will open on Tuesday morning at the Limerick Racecourse in Patrickswell.
Final vaccinations will be administered at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Saturday afternoon, with staff from the UL Hospitals Group and the HSE supported by members of the defence forces decommissioning the centre there.
It will then ready the racecourse for the first vaccination appointments from 11:30am on Tuesday next.
HSE Estates has developed the required layouts and overseen the transformation of the main stand building at the Racecourse over the past few weeks, and the facility is now fitted out for its new role.
Vaccination booths have been installed on the ground and first floors, with staff support facilities available on the second and third floors. HSE Estates has also completed the equipping of the ground floor of the building.
With a maximum capacity of 46 vaccination booths, the Limerick Racecourse centre will run alongside the centres at Treacy’s West County Hotel (Ennis) and the Abbey Court Hotel (Nenagh), operating in accordance with national guidance on clinical prioritisation, sequencing, and subject to availability of COVID-19 vaccines.
The UL Hospitals Group placed on record its thanks to management and staff at the Radisson Hotel, which will re-open to the public next month.
It also paid tribute to the large number of volunteer groups, for the part they have played in assisting with the vaccination effort.
To date, the vaccination programme run by UL Hospitals Group has delivered more than 110,000 doses of the vaccine across the Mid-West.
Just over 70% of this regional vaccination total has been administered at the Radisson Blu centre.
By the end of next week, it is anticipated that the vast majority of healthcare workers in the Mid-West - approximately 17% of all people vaccinated to date - will have received both doses of the vaccine, including UL Hospitals healthcare workers and staff from HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare, the National Ambulance Service and some long-term residential care facilities.
Dose 1 vaccination of the 45-49 age group is almost complete, and the focus is beginning to turn to receiving the first appointments in the 40-44 age group at our centres from next week.
The dedicated vaccination centre bus service for the Radisson centre, will also transfer to the new centre with effect from next Tuesday morning. The bus service, supported by the National Transport Agency and operated by Bus Éireann, will run between the Racecourse centre and the stop at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) in Raheen.
The hospital stop is served by Bus Eireann on its on the 301, 302, 304 and 304A Limerick City routes, and is also on the outbound and inbound routes of the 13 (Limerick-Adare-Listowel-Tralee); 14 (Limerick-Killarney); 314 Limerick-Askeaton-Foynes) and 320 (Limerick-Charleville) services.
Colette Cowan, the chief executive of the UL Hospitals Group, and chair of the Mid-West Covid-19 vaccination steering committee, said: “As we prepare to depart the Radisson Blu, I would like to applaud the hotel management and staff for all they have done to help our staff operate the largest of the three Mid-West Covid-19 Vaccination Centres. They have been with us throughout this crucial phase of the vaccine programme, helping us to make our communities safe from the threat of Covid-19. I wish the management and staff well as they prepare to re-open to the public as part of the ongoing re-opening of society.”
“As well as expressing my gratitude to staff from across the HSE for their extraordinary efforts, I also want to acknowledge the remarkable input of volunteers who have made a crucial contribution in the Radisson and the centres in Nenagh and Ennis. We have received glowing reports from patients about the friendly and approachable service the volunteers provide, greeting people on arrival, and guiding them through the various stages of the vaccination process. To all involved, including the Volunteers Ireland organisation and bodies such as Civil Defence, the Red Cross, the Order of Malta and St John’s Ambulance, you have my sincere and eternal gratitude,” Ms Cowan added.
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