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Pop-up vaccination centres to be extended on college campuses

The pop-up centres were established across 15 higher education sites two weeks ago as part of Vaccination Week.

USE OF POP-UP vaccination centres on college campuses has been extended for another week. 

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has announced the extension of the walk-in clinics which provide first or second doses to coincide with the reopening of third-level education.

The pop-up centres were established across 15 higher education sites two weeks ago as part of Vaccination Week.

Over 3,000 students received a vaccine with 53% of them receiving their first dose.

The clinics will be held in:

-           Maynooth University

-           TU Dublin – Blanchardstown, Grangegorman and Tallaght;

-           Dublin City University;

-           Trinity College Dublin;

-           University of Limerick;

-           NUI Galway;

-           Munster Technological University;

-           University College Cork;

-           Technological University of the Shannon Limerick Campus

-           Mary Immaculate College

In addition, vaccination centres will be open in Sligo, Letterkenny, UCD, Carlow, Tralee, Dundalk and Moate for students to access.

Speaking today, Harris said the centres will help protect college communities: “Vaccine Week was a huge success with over 3,000 students receiving a vaccine on college campuses. Starting on Monday, we will return to 12 of those sites to ensure those who received their first dose can access their second.

“Importantly, these sites will be open for people to receive their first dose too. We know there are just 8.8% of the adult population who have not been vaccinated, and we know 28% of those are between 17 and 29.

Welcoming the extension, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said he had “seen first-hand the fantastic work being done to maximise vaccine uptake, particularly for our younger population”. 

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He added: “We know that the COVID-19 vaccine is an effective way to protect yourself from the most severe effects of the virus. The recent rise in case numbers is a cause for concern but there are ways to protect ourselves & one another – get vaccinated, isolate & get tested if symptomatic (even if you’re vaccinated), wear a mask, meet outdoors or in ventilated indoor spaces.”

Rapid Antigen testing pilot

Minister Harris met with stakeholders on Friday to discuss the return to on-site teaching, research and study this semester, and confirmed today that the rapid antigen testing pilot would be extended to seven campuses this autumn.

The sites are the University of Limerick, Waterford Institute of Technology, Dublin Business School, Griffith College, St Nicholas’ Montessori College, Cavan Monaghan ETB’s Further Education and Training Campus in Cavan and Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. 

“Rapid testing does not replace our public health advice to wear a mask and keep washing your hands, but it could be an additional weapon in our fight against COVID-19 in the future.

“Antigen self-testing is performed twice a week and tests can easily be completed yourself at home. After completing your test, you report your results online using the HSE Report Antigen Result website.

“Regardless of rapid testing, if you do experience any symptoms of COVID-19, even mild symptoms, you will still need to go for a PCR test and restrict your movements.”

If a PCR test is required, people will now be asked when booking their test if this is because they had a positive antigen test result. 

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