West and North-West region reaches 500,000 vaccine milestone

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galway daily news INMO calls for healthcare workers to get vaccine booster shots

Vaccination centres in the West and North-West have now administered over half a million vaccines since the first centre opened earlier this year.

The first vaccines in Galway were administered at UHG last December, with the vaccination centre at Ballybrit opening in late February.

Paul Hooton, Saolta Executive Lead for the rollout of the vaccination programme in the West and North West, paid tribute to the incredible team of staff in all of the region’s vaccination centres.

He thanked the vaccinators, pharmacists, site managers, registration and administration staff, student nurses and the many support staff including security, cleaners and wellness checkers.

“We are also indebted to the members of the Defence Forces who have provided invaluable and immeasurable support to the vaccination programme, along with the many volunteers from the Civil Defence, Order of Malta, St John Ambulance and the Irish Red Cross,” said Paul Hooton.

“Staff from LYIT in Letterkenny also ran a very successful satellite vaccination centre in Carndonagh, County Donegal up until last week and are currently working towards opening a new satellite centre in Burtonport.

“We also ran a satellite centre in Clifden over the summer months supported by staff from the Ballybrit centre in Galway and this week we opened a satellite centre in Belmullet, supported by staff from the Breaffy House Resort vaccination centre.”

Paul Hooton said that there have been many challenges along the way, but everyone involved stepped up and excelled.

“To all the people of Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo and Galway, I would like to say thank you for your overwhelming support and in the early days for your patience when we were still figuring out the queueing system and timings. Your co-operation was very much appreciated.

“Being able to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to so many people and to play some role in moving on from the pandemic has been an absolute privilege.

“There are still plenty of opportunities to get the vaccine and we are running walk-in clinics every week to make it as easy as possible.”