THE rollout of the vaccinations for residents and staff in nursing homes in Cork is due to start next week
The first vaccinations are being administered today nationally and Cork nursing home jabs are scheduled to begin on Monday, January 11 when Amberley Home in Fermoy and Fairfield Nursing Home in Drimoleague will be the first recipients.
Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) CEO Tadhg Daly is delighted the vaccination programme is "great news" but a big challenge for the HSE.
Mr Daly, who hails from Drimoleague, is hopeful the vaccination process in all nursing homes will be completed towards the end of February.
“The vaccine gives us all great hope," he said.
Mr Daly added: "Twenty-five nursing homes will be completed nationwide before the end of the first week. There will then be a three-week plan going forward from January 11. At the end of those three weeks, there will be a loop of a further three weeks. It is great news and if it could be expedited it would be even better. There are 75,000 people between residents and staff across nursing homes nationwide. It will be a big challenge for the HSE. The sooner it is rolled out the better,” he said.
“Administrating the second dose will push out the completion of the vaccinations to the latter part of February. All residents and staff will get their first dose before they will then be administered with the second dose 21 days later. It will crank up big time on Monday, January 11. There are a lot of vaccinations scheduled to take place in the various nursing homes in Cork that week,” he added.
The commencement of the vaccination in nursing homes has been warmly welcomed by Mr Daly, who has presided over a sector that has been hugely affected by the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The vaccine gives us all great hope. It will provide peace of mind for residents and staff alike. The nursing homes sector has suffered hugely. The high number of positive cases in recent days is very worrying. HSE officials are already warning that with the high rate of community transmissions it would nearly be impossible to keep it out of hospitals or nursing homes which is worrying.
“The vaccinations are a big step in the right direction. We will still have strict public health measures in place and infection prevention control will still be a big issue for the foreseeable future until the whole community is vaccinated. I am very positive the vaccines will prove a huge success.”
Mr Daly paid tribute to all the nursing home staff who have displayed great resilience throughout the pandemic. “The staff have been brilliant and so heroic. It is a very tough time for everybody. Many of them are concerned about the recent increase in cases in communities. Covid still remains a big challenge. We have to remain positive and believe that with the right measures we can get it under control in the community. The vaccine gives us great hope. Hopefully, a brighter picture will emerge in the next few weeks,” he added.