An Taoiseach Micheál Martin looking at the ongoing work to transform part of City Hall into a Covid-19 vaccination centre. Photo: Gerard McCarthy

No vaccine centre in East Cork

Vaccine centre locations have been chosen based on population density, the Cork Independent has learned amid no centre being designated for the East Cork area.

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, confirmed the locations for 37 vaccination centres across Ireland this week for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, with five centres selected for Cork.

These are located in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, City Hall, the Melbourn Building at the MTU campus in Bishopstown and Mallow GAA Centre.

There will also be a West Cork centre which will alternate between Bantry Primary Care Centre and Clonakilty GAA Club.

The vaccination centres will be established as a joint project between the South/South West Hospital Group and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare and won't be operational until the availability of vaccine increases.

When asked by the Cork Independent why there is no East Cork centre, a spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “All of the centres vary in size and operating hours and have been selected based on population density, ease of access, transport and parking.

“The design and layout of the centres also incorporates learnings from the Covid-19 swabbing centres. It is important to note that the centres will be of different sizes and operating hours will be based on vaccine supply and catchment area need,” concluded the spokesperson.

Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer, while welcoming the vaccination centres, was of the opinion that more are required.

He said: “The current locations whilst welcome are not enough and therefore there is a need for the HSE to increase and expand the number of tech vaccination centres. We must expedite the vaccination programme and encourage people to avail of the vaccine.

“There are a number of sporting club’s premises that can be used as vaccination centres where there is plenty of parking and no issue with accessibility.

“We are starting to get vaccine out to people. It’s a good news story. The vaccine is our silver bullet and the philosophy must be to inoculate as quickly as possible,” he said.

A statement from Cork Kerry Community Healthacare said: “Work is underway now to ensure that the centres will be ready as soon as vaccine supply is available and additional updates will be provided as soon as information on confirmed vaccine supply becomes available. Based on current information, vaccine supply for the country is forecast to reach a peak in Q2 2021.”

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