HEALTHCARE workers in Cork had more than the sun to smile about on Good Friday: They arrived at City Hall for their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Security staff ensured people’s safety, upon arrival for their vaccine and on their departure.
People were arriving as early as 8am today and continued to be vaccinated until 8pm. The facility is a joint project between the South/South West Hospital Group and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare.
There were 10 booths, with a plan to vaccinate between 750 and 800 healthcare workers over the course of the day.
When the vaccination centre is fully operational, its total of 30 booths will be fully utilised.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Joe Kavanagh, said that from Tuesday, the centre will be used to vaccinate people in line with the groupings identified within the Government’s Covid-19 vaccination allocation strategy.
Mr Kavanagh said it was great to see people arriving for their vaccinations and that there was “lots of activity” at City Hall this morning, with security and signage in place for people’s safety.
The lord mayor said that it was “fantastic to be able to offer such a wonderful facility” to vaccinate the population of Cork City.
“City Hall is really at the heart of the city and at the heart of the people of Cork, and it’s the people of Cork that are giving it to the HSE for use for this particular purpose,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“It’s on a bus route and people can get their bus in and bus home and it’s easily accessible and there are car parks around City Hall, too. There’s nothing more city centre than City Hall.
“It’s great for us to be able to offer it and there’ll be a lot of vaccinations being administered in there over the coming weeks and months, which is of critical importance,” he said.
Upon arrival at City Hall, those who have their appointment enter the building at Anglesea Street, moving through the tented area at the front of the building and into a reception area.
People’s details are taken and they are then allocated a booth in which the vaccine will be administered, before they make their way to Millenium Hall, which is an observation area. People sit there for 15 minutes after receiving the jab to ensure they have no side effects.
The lord mayor acknowledged people’s frustration in seeing the tented area set up at City Hall for the last number of weeks, but without any activity.
“It has been tented there for the last eight or nine weeks,” Mr Kavanagh said. “I can appreciate the frustration of so many people, when they’re looking at City Hall being tented and nothing happening there, so it’s great to see it all kick-starting now.”
He said that it is critical to keep a consistent flow of vaccines at the centre and highlighted the importance of Cork opening another vaccination centre, out of a total of 38 nationwide. He said that Friday’s opening of the centre was “a good news story for Cork”.
The South/South West Hospital Group and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare expressed their appreciation to Cork City Council for their ongoing support in relation to the City Hall vaccination centre.