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Here's what'll happen when you go to get your Covid-19 vaccine

For the larger roll-out, the vaccines will be administered in large vaccination centres and also GP surgeries and pharmacies.
Dec 15th 2020, 3:25 PM 24,109 27

THE GOVERNMENT HAS outlined how the vaccination process will work when a mass roll-out happens in 2021.

The initial roll-out, planned for early in the New Year, will be limited to particular groups. 

The focus at the start of the vaccination programme will be on adults over the age of 65 who are residents of long-term care facilities and frontline healthcare workers in direct patient contact roles, including vaccinators. Those aged 70 and older will be next, starting with over 85s.

There will be five main types of vaccination administration locations in the overall roll-out:

  • Long-term residential care facilities
  • Large scale healthcare sites, such as hospitals
  • Mass vaccination centres
  • General practice
  • Community pharmacy

Source: Department of Health

Mass vaccination centres will be located regionally and designed to cater for large numbers of recipients.

The plan states discussions are underway with relevant authorities to ensure a geographical distribution of these centres is provided, but examples include Citywest and the National Exhibition Centre in Cloghran in Dublin.

In the initial phases, vaccination will take place at longterm care facilities – for both residents and staff. Simultaneously, healthcare workers will be vaccinated at large scale healthcare sites.

Those who are part of the mass ramp-up – likely to begin in late spring or summer – will go through a different process. The vaccination programme will work down through this list of groups:

Source: Department of Health

 When it is your turn, you will be invited to register, provide some medical and personal details and consent to vaccination. People will be offered scheduled appointments to attend a named location for vaccination.

On the day of the appointment, pre-registered details will be confirmed on arrival.

When the person goes in to get their vaccination jab, the person administering the vaccine will confirm their details, complete informed consent and record their own details as well as batch details and a time/date stamp.

The vaccinator will then prepare the dose and administer the vaccine. 

All vaccinators will be qualified and registered healthcare professionals including nurses and GPs. As more doses become available the government will need to expand the pool of skilled workers to administer the vaccines. 

The government is considering actions being taken by other jurisdictions, such as the licensing of recently retired health professionals or maintaining registration in the case of others. Pharmacists may need to be specifically licensed for Covid-19 vaccinations, but they have the experience and training needed to administer them. 

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All staff working on the vaccination programme will receive training either online or in person.

Aftercare

After the patient gets their vaccine on the day of their appointment will be asked to wait for 15 minutes to monitor for any immediate adverse reactions. Trained clinical staff will need to be on hand to observe the patients.

Aftercare will involve follow-up reminders to ensure people return for their second dose.

The strategy states the goal is to “provide a consistent process with a common data and technology platform, across all clinical settings in which the vaccine is administered”.

If there are any suspected side effects in the days or weeks afterwards, the recipient will be able to report this on a portal on the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) website and through their GP.

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Michelle Hennessy

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