The Covid-19 vaccination programme for Mayo has now moved to the newly established Vaccination Centre in Breaffy House, Castlebar.
Over the coming weeks the programme to vaccinate health care workers across hospital, community and other health care workers continues in the new facility and vaccination teams will prepare for the site to be used as a Vaccination Centre for the wider public.
Paul Hooton, Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery at the Saolta Group which has overall responsibility for the vaccination programme across the west and north west said: "At this point, we are confident that almost all healthcare workers in hospitals have received the vaccination (first dose ) and many have now received their second dose.
"There are many thousands of frontline healthcare workers working outside of hospitals and over the last number of weeks we have been steadily nearing completion for this group, which includes workers from the public and private health services, those employed by the HSE and those employed by funded agencies.
"We have also commenced the vaccination programme for the next group identified, these are people aged 16 to 69 who are at very high risk due to their medical condition.
"Across the west and north west we have established six Vaccination Centres which will ultimately be used to deliver the vaccination programme to the wider public.
"Here in Breaffy House, staff from Mayo University Hospital and Community Healthcare West are administering the vaccine and we are currently recruiting additional staff, including vaccinators to ensure that we have the necessary teams in place to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme to the people of Mayo."
Catherine Donohoe, General Manager of Mayo University Hospital added: "We had been carrying out healthcare worker vaccinations in Mayo University Hospital but have now moved our vaccination teams and infrastructure to the new centre.
"I would like to take the opportunity to thank the staff in MUH how have worked on the vaccination teams to date and who will support this centre going forward. It is a really positive week for Mayo to see this centre opening as it means more and more of our population will be protected from Covid-19”.
Commenting on the standing up of the facility at Breaffy House, Francis Power, Vaccine Centre Manager said: "We began vaccinating healthcare workers and medically vulnerable very high risk patients in the new centre yesterday morning and over the coming weeks we will continue to deliver the vaccine programme for the people of Mayo.
"It has been a huge logistical effort to bring this centre into operation and a real example of cross-functional working, with teams from across the health service, local interagency partners, and Breaffy House Resort. When the centre is at capacity, we expect to be vaccinating 2,500 people per day.”
Breda Crehan Roche, Chief Officer Community Healthcare West who is leading on the vaccination programme on behalf of HSE Community Services added: "We are completing the vaccination programme across Older People’s Long Term Residential Care Facilities, both public and private, with less than 100 residents still to receive their second dose; last week we completed the vaccination rollout to residential service users in Disability Services, and we plan to vaccinate those attending disability day services in the week commencing 29th March.
"To date, Community Healthcare West has administered 17,671 vaccines. I want to acknowledge the commitment of all the teams who worked so hard often 12 hours a day, over seven days a week, to ensure that vulnerable people are protected. Our vaccination teams are now also working alongside our colleagues in Saolta to continue to provide vaccinations to healthcare workers. We will continue to work hard to deliver the vaccine to other priority groups. While the on-going vaccination rollout is really positive, Covid-19 continues to be transmitted in our community and we all need to stick to the public health guidelines."
Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta University Health Care Group added: "This will be the single largest vaccination programme ever undertaken in the Irish state and it will require huge co-operation across the health services, and across a range of state agencies. To date we have been somewhat limited by the availability of vaccine.
"We expect that to change over the coming weeks. We currently have access to three different vaccines and expect others to come on stream. Centres like the one in Breaffy House will ensure that we have the infrastructure and teams in place and ready to deliver this vaccine to the wider community once we move into that vaccination phase".