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'The sound of hope': Almost 1,000 over-85s receive Covid-19 vaccines at Helix theatre

Over 100 GP clinics are vaccinating nearly 1,000 patients over 85 at a vaccination centre today.

ALMOST 1,000 PEOPLE over the age of 85 are being vaccinated today at The Helix theatre in Dublin, where GP clinics are administering vaccines.

102 GP clinics are vaccinating their patients at The Helix, which is one of 37 locations around the country that have been designated as a vaccination centre.

The venue has been equipped with 48 vaccination booths to help with the rollout of vaccines over the coming months.

The vaccination programme started with frontline healthcare workers and residents in long-term care facilities – the first two priority groups – and expanded to include over-85s from Monday.

At The Helix today, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that the sound in the theatre was “the sound of hope”.

Donnelly said that “what we’re seeing here is the light at the end of the tunnel”.

“People, men and women, over 85; nearly a thousand of them today are being vaccinated,” Donnelly said.

There are GPs, practice nurses, medical students, and the Order of Malta working at the Helix today to deliver the vaccines, while Dublin Airport loaned wheelchairs to the venue.

Tweet by @Stephen Donnelly Source: Stephen Donnelly/Twitter

“This is Ireland at work, it’s our national at work protecting the most vulnerable,” Donnelly said.

“It’s a great day we’re going to see a lot more of this when we move into April and onwards. We’re looking at over a million doses of vaccines coming into the country per month,” he said.

“This is the start of something really, really important I want to say thank you so much to everybody who has been involved in putting this together.”

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At least one vaccine centre has been designated in each county, with five in Cork, four in Dublin, two in Kerry, two in Tipperary, two in Westmeath, and two in Wicklow.

Brian MacCraith, chair of the vaccine taskforce and former president of DCU, said that it was a “wonderful day” and that the “positivity and joy” in the Helix was “palpable”.

The next priority groups are due to being receiving their vaccine in April and May, and people over the age of 70 should be fully vaccinated by mid-May, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said earlier this week.

As of Wednesday, 310,900 vaccines against Covid-19 have been administered in Ireland, including 197,609 first doses and 113,291 second doses. 

Worldwide, over 200 million vaccine doses have been rolled out against Covid-19.

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