Relief among Irish GPs and healthcare workers after vaccine jabs at mass centres

Relief among Irish GPs and healthcare workers after vaccine jabs at mass centres

Dr Fiona Moynihan injects Dr Louise Jackman, GP with Grand Canal Hanover Medical Practice, with the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 at a vaccination centre in Dublin as mass vaccination drive for GPs and practice nurses has begun in Ireland.

Doctors and other healthcare workers have expressed relief after receiving Covid-19 jabs at three mass vaccination centres in Ireland.

The facilities opened in Dublin, Galway and Portlaoise on Saturday and will operate over the weekend.

Each is delivering hundreds of the Moderna jabs to GPs, practice nurses and other frontline staff.

Dublin-based GP Muhammad Ghaffar was among those who received a vaccine at the centre in the city's Phoenix Park.

He said it was a straightforward process.

"A time was allocated so I went there and registered myself, they checked my verification and I went in, within the next five minutes I got the vaccination and then I was in the observation for 15 minutes," he told the PA news agency.

"It was friendly and I was happy with it."

The doctor said he was relieved to have had the jab.

"Hopefully it will work," he said. "The reason and rationale for getting it is because we get exposed to a lot of patients so we don't know who has the Covid and who doesn't, so it's a relief now."

He added: "Once all the general public get it, it will be more relief, because then we'll be able to freely move around and get in contact with people again."

Shannon Fagan, a social care worker in residential services, also got vaccinated at the Phoenix Park facility. She found out on Friday evening that she had a slot for a jab on Saturday afternoon.

"It was quick and easy - a nice process," she told PA.

Chief Ambulance Officer, HSE National Ambulance Service Richard Quinlan administering the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 to Eleanor Rossiter-Wallace of GPN Faythe Medical Centre, at the vaccination centre in Phoenix Park, Dublin, as mass vaccination drive for GPs and practice nurses has begun in Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 16, 2021. See PA story IRISH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire
Chief Ambulance Officer, HSE National Ambulance Service Richard Quinlan administering the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 to Eleanor Rossiter-Wallace of GPN Faythe Medical Centre, at the vaccination centre in Phoenix Park, Dublin, as mass vaccination drive for GPs and practice nurses has begun in Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 16, 2021. See PA story IRISH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Ms Fagan said the vaccination offered the prospect of more freedom and "light at the end of the tunnel".

"It means freedom I suppose, not having an anxiety about seeing family and friends, feeling that little bit more protected," she said.

"It's just peace of mind really."

She said working through the pandemic had been tough, adding: "We're just grateful now that we're coming to the end and there's a light at the end of the tunnel."

The mass centre initiative was been rolled out as the authorities in Ireland adjust wider vaccination plans to reflect the temporary reduction in supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines.

The slow down in supply to European countries is due to Pfizer upgrading its production facilities in Belgium.

Ireland hopes to have vaccinated four million people by the end of September.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said supply was the only factor that would limit the speed of the programme rollout.

He said the anticipated European approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab at the end of January would be significant.

"The truth is the only constraint at the moment is supply," he said.

"We can speed it up but not until the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine is approved.

"We're hoping that's going to happen on January 29 and that will allow us then to scale up and speed up the programme and we'll get that vaccine out to GP surgeries, pharmacies, mass-vaccination centres, and that will really allow us to increase the numbers being vaccinated every week quite considerably."

Chief Ambulance Officer, HSE National Ambulance Service Richard Quinlan administering the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 to Nurse Mary Ramsbottom from Rathangan Medical Practice, Kildare, at the vaccination centre in Phoenix Park, Dublin, as mass vaccination drive for GPs and practice nurses has begun in Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 16, 2021. See PA story IRISH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire
Chief Ambulance Officer, HSE National Ambulance Service Richard Quinlan administering the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 to Nurse Mary Ramsbottom from Rathangan Medical Practice, Kildare, at the vaccination centre in Phoenix Park, Dublin, as mass vaccination drive for GPs and practice nurses has begun in Ireland. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 16, 2021. See PA story IRISH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Another 50 Covid-19 deaths were confirmed in Ireland on Friday, along with 3,498 new cases of the virus.

On Saturday, bolstered travel restrictions came into effect requiring passengers arriving into Ireland's port and airports to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test.

Travellers need to show evidence of their test result prior to boarding any plane or ferry bound for Ireland and also produce it to immigration officials upon arrival.

The PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test for coronavirus must have been taken within 72 hours of departure.

Failure to produce evidence of a negative test result on arrival in Ireland in a criminal offence attracting a fine of up to 2,500 euro or a prison sentence of up to six months.

The new rules do not apply to anyone travelling from Northern Ireland.

Some international travellers are exempt from the new requirements, including international transport workers in the aviation, maritime and road haulage sectors.

Children aged six and under are also exempt.

Transit passengers who stop off in Ireland en route to another destination and do not leave the airport also do not need to produce a negative test result.

Extra restrictions apply to travellers arriving from Great Britain, South Africa and Brazil.

The measures, introduced in response to the emergence of new Covid-19 variants in those places, require passengers to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in Ireland.


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