Number of sites understood to be under consideration for mass vaccination centres in Cork

Number of sites understood to be under consideration for mass vaccination centres in Cork

Marquees outside the City Hall, Cork which has been set up as a mass vaccination clinic. Picture Dan Linehan

CORK’S Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Mallow GAA club and Bantry Primary Care centre are understood to be the next locations being considered as large vaccination centres for the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine to people around the county.

Earlier this week it was revealed that City Hall has been transformed into a large vaccination centre, which will come on stream from Monday.

Vaccinations likely won’t begin at the three other sites for a number of weeks when further vaccine supply comes on stream.

It’s also thought that Cork’s Munster Technological University campus is being looked at as a potential location for a GP-led hub to administer the Covid-19 vaccine.

Despite progress to roll out the vaccine programme, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told The Echo that they will not be “reopening society hugely” on March 5.

“Our policy is now one of prolonged suppression of the virus. With the vaccination programme rolling out, we will not be reopening society hugely on the fifth of March.

“I think our priorities at the moment are schools, construction ... and we have to get non-Covid health services restored,” he said.

 The Taoiseach Micheál Martin in his office at Government Buildings . Photograph Moya Nolan
The Taoiseach Micheál Martin in his office at Government Buildings . Photograph Moya Nolan

“When we get numbers down, we want to keep them down. We’re conscious of the variant.

“I certainly don’t see hospitality reopening in March at all.”

He said that business supports are being looked at, as well as the medium-term outlook on the economy.

“I think towards the middle of the month we’ll be in a position to bring clarity to what will happen on March 5 and beyond.”

However, Mr Martin said that by mid-summer he believes Ireland will be in “a different space” when it comes to Covid-19.

“I think the next number of months will be crucial. I think the landscape will change by mid-year”, saying that April, May and June will have very high vaccination rates.

“Even by the end of April we will have significant numbers vaccinated, and we’ll have more vaccines in play.

“I think by mid-summer we’ll be in a different space”, he said but warned that having large crowds gathering may still not be possible.

“Overall, we’ve got to kill off the virus and make it non-threatening and stamp it out.

“Ultimately that’s what will get us back together in crowds and engaging again.

“My sense is there’s no one big day when that happens, it’s an evolving situation,” Mr Martin said.

However, he had a positive outlook on what may happen this summer.

“I think we will be in a better position to enjoy the summer differently. But, we’ll be very cautious at the same time, and I think [through] 2021 overall, hopefully, we’ll witness a cautious evolution of the crisis.

“Hopefully, the vaccinations will have done their jobs in most parts of the world by the end of the year.”

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