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Over 30,000 people attended Covid vaccination walk-in centres at weekend

“This initiative makes us beyond proud of younger people,” Paul Reid said.

A sign outside a walk-in vaccine centre in the Swords National Show Centre, Dublin, on Saturday
A sign outside a walk-in vaccine centre in the Swords National Show Centre, Dublin, on Saturday
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

OVER 30,000 PEOPLE attended Covid-19 vaccination walk-in centres across the country at the weekend.

HSE CEO Paul Reid said the number of people attending the centres outstripped expectations “by far”.

“All age groups went through but this initiative makes us beyond proud of younger people. When needed, they once again showed up in numbers,” Reid tweeted this morning.

Many of those attending the centres were aged 16 and 17.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Damien McCallion, the HSE’s National Lead on Vaccination Programme, also praised the high level of vaccine uptake over the bank holiday weekend.

“They certainly were very popular, there was a good uptake,” McCallion said.

He noted that one of the objectives of the walk-in centres “was to try and see whether we could attract people as well who perhaps previously hadn’t engaged in the programme and weren’t registered”.

McCallion said initial numbers suggest that possible “as close as half” of people who attended the walk-in clinics over the weekend were people who hadn’t previously registered with the HSE to get the vaccine.

“Overall we’re very happy with [the engagement], it was a good initiative. And, as I say, alongside the registration system, alongside the GPs and pharmacists who continue to offer the vaccine as well, it has worked very well over this weekend,” he stated.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly last week confirmed that the Covid-19 vaccination programme will be extended to people aged 12 to 15 years.

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The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) has recommended that children in this age group be offered an mRNA vaccine.

To date, two mRNA vaccines have been approved by the European Medicines Agency for use in this group – Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. During clinical trials, the estimate for efficacy of both vaccines was reported as 100% in this age cohort.

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Órla Ryan

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