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Increase in walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics this Bank Holiday weekend

Vaccination Centre - Racecourse

[THURSDAY OCTOBER 21st]

With incidence of COVID-19 community transmission remaining high in the Mid-West and increased numbers of COVID-positive hospitalisations, UL Hospitals Group is joining a collective nationwide effort this Bank Holiday weekend aimed at maximising uptake for the COVID-19 vaccination.

Locally, the no-appointment walk-in Pfizer Dose 1&2 vaccine clinics for adults, and children aged 12 and over, will be held in the Mid-West COVID-19 Vaccination Centres in Ennis (Thursday and Sunday), Limerick Racecourse (Friday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday), and Nenagh (Friday and Saturday).

Dr Sarah O’Connell, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Group Clinical Lead for COVID-19, urged people who have not yet been vaccinated to attend the clinics, in view of the higher risks for unvaccinated people of infection and hospitalisation with COVID-19.

Dr Sarah O’Connell, UL Hospital Group, on COVID Vaccination (soundcloud)

“We know that vaccination against COVID-19, including the Delta variant, protects very well against severe disease and hospitalisation with COVID-19. Recent studies have shown that unvaccinated people have 5 times the risk of infection and more than 10 times the risk of hospitalisation or death compared with vaccinated people. Recently we have seen very high rates of community transmission and an increased number of hospitalisations. This has put a further strain on our healthcare system, and it continues to do so unfortunately. Walk-in clinics are a great way to get your vaccine if you’re unvaccinated, as no appointment is necessary. Before Winter comes, now is the time to protect yourself, your family and friends as much as possible against COVID-19,” Dr O’Connell said.

It should be noted that these walk-in clinics are for Dose 1 & Dose 2 vaccinations only. They are not for anyone seeking a third dose of the vaccine, which is delivered under separate programmes.

Walk-in Clinics for Dose 1 & Dose 2 vaccines have been scheduled in the Mid-West this weekend as follows:

DateVaccination CentreVaccine clinicClinic time
Thursday October 21stEnnis, West County HotelPfizer Dose 1 & 24pm-7pm
Friday October 22ndLimerick RacecoursePfizer Dose 1 & 24pm-7pm
Friday October 22ndNenagh, Abbey Court HotelPfizer Dose 1 & 24pm-7pm
Saturday October 23rdNenagh, Abbey Court HotelPfizer Dose 1 & 210am-5pm
Sunday October 24thLimerick RacecoursePfizer Dose 1 & 210am-5pm
Sunday October 24thEnnis, West County HotelPfizer Dose 1 & 210am-5pm
Monday October 25thLimerick RacecoursePfizer Dose 1 & 210am-5pm

Anyone attending our walk-in clinics for second doses should bring their vaccine record card with them. Please note that a minimum of 21 days must have passed after Pfizer Dose 1 before Dose 2 is administered. This should be observed also for people who have received AstraZeneca Dose 1 and who are presenting for Pfizer Dose 2.

No appointment is necessary for these clinics, and there is no requirement to register on the national vaccine registration portal. However, please note that children under 16 years must be accompanied to centres by a parent or guardian.

Everyone attending for vaccination, whether for Dose 1 or Dose 2, should bring identification, in the form of a birth certificate, or a photo ID (i.e., driving licence, Public Services Card, travel pass, passport, Garda-issued National Age Card, or school or college ID). For queries, contact the local HSE-approved helpline number on 087-9681240 (9am-6pm, seven days a week). All clinic dates and times and related information will be published on www.hse.ie. Outside of these walk-in clinics, parents or guardians of children aged 12 to 15 may continue to register children on the HSE website via this link: https://vaccine.hse.ie/#register

UL Hospitals Group COVID-19 vaccination teams continue working to ensure that everyone in the Mid-West will receive a vaccine, in line with national guidance on COVID-19 vaccination. Anyone with queries about COVID-19 vaccination may contact the national helpline on 1850-241850.

Booster Doses & Additional Doses - an explanatory note

There is a distinction between Booster Doses and Additional Doses. They are not interchangeable terms. As per the national guidance on COVID-19 vaccination, Additional Doses are for people with weakened immune systems, while Booster Doses have been delivered to people aged 80 and older, or, to date, aged 65 and older and living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

Booster Doses: Until now, Booster Doses have been for people who are aged 80 or older, or 65 or older and living in a nursing home or long-term care facility. People aged 65 to 79 and not living in long term residential care until now have not required a Booster Dose. However, NPHET is now recommending that Booster Doses be rolled out to people aged 60 or over, and we await national guidance before administering doses in this age category.

In most cases, a Booster Dose will be given six months after finishing the initial course of COVID-19 vaccine.

See: https://www2.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/covid-19-vaccine/get-the-vaccine/covid-19-vaccine-booster-dose/

To date, our work in support of the COVID-19 vaccine booster programme has been with people aged 65 or older and living in nursing homes or long-term residential care facilities.

Up to close of business last Sunday, UL Hospitals Group vaccinators had delivered a total of 1,467 Booster Doses to people in this cohort.

Additional Doses: Additional Doses are for people with weakened immune systems who do not generate a full immune response to their first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The additional dose means they will get the maximum benefit from their primary vaccination course. NIAC recommends that people aged 12 years and older who are immunocompromised at the time of vaccination due to disease or treatment should receive one additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

This can be offered two months after the initial two doses. People in this 8,000-patient strong cohort do not have to register or contact anyone. In the Mid-West, and across the country, hospitals are identifying this patient cohort, and contacting them by text message with their appointments.

See: https://www2.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/covid-19-vaccine/get-the-vaccine/weak-immune-system/

Up to close of business last Sunday, UL Hospitals Group vaccinators had delivered a total of 3,887 additional vaccine doses to patients in this cohort.