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Events industry offers help with mass vaccination rollout

An events representative group has written to officials to offer support with planning and delivering the rollout.

Image: Shutterstock/Billion Photos

THE EVENTS INDUSTRY Association of Ireland has written to the Taoiseach to offer the industry’s skills and resources to assist in planning the mass vaccination rollout. 

Elaine O’Connor, the co-founder of the representative group, said the events industry has the relevant expertise to aid the rollout of mass vaccination centres across the country. 

“It just makes sense,” O’Connor said.

“We have thousands of people [in the industry] literally sitting around doing nothing… it’s horrible to sit by knowing that there are so many experts, so much infrastructure to roll this out quickly.”

Yesterday afternoon, the association submitted a letter by email to Micheál Martin, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan and HSE CEO Paul Reid.  

O’Connor said no response has been received received as of publication. 

The government’s vaccine rollout plan states that the mass ramp-up of vaccinations will take place in the second phase of the rollout.

Mass vaccination centres are expected to be brought in for this as vaccine availability increases and more people are eligible to receive the jab.

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These centres are already in use in other countries, with England opening its first ones today in locations including a racecourse, a football stadium and a tennis club. 

Examples of the sites for mass vaccination centres in the future are Citywest and the National Exhibition Centre in Cloghran. The option of using university campuses as mass vaccination centres has also been raised.

“As an industry we have all the necessary skills, resources, technology, and expertise required to support our government, the H.S.E., and other relevant stakeholders in the swift roll-out and delivery of this extraordinarily important service,” O’Connor wrote in the letter.

Our industry’s workforce have a proven track record in the management of queues, booking systems, event site and traffic management along with a necessary understanding of the legislative requirements and planning processes associated with the installation of similar temporary facilities.

“Processing hundreds of thousands of interactions in a short timescale may seem insurmountable to many, for our sector it’s just another day at the office.”

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