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Clon to alternate days and times with Bantry

April 12th, 2021 3:00 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Cora Hayes (left), lead co-ordinator, West Cork Vaccination Centre and Dr Emer Shanley, co-ordinator for Clonakilty at the Ahamilla centre (Photo: Brian Lougheed)

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IT is expected that up to 900 people a day will be vaccinated at the Ahamilla GAA complex in Clonakilty once the vaccination centre is fully operational within the next fortnight.

The West Cork Covid-19 public vaccination centre will alternate between Clonakilty and Bantry Primary Care Centre and with nine bays in place, the team are eager to start getting the people of West Cork vaccinated.

With ample parking spaces, the complex is ideally suited to co-ordinate a one way system and will be open seven days a week, most likely for up to 12 hours a day.

Lead co-ordinator Cora Hayes said that between the two West Cork sites they hope to be fully functional within the next fortnight and said it’s an exciting time and a route out of the pandemic.

‘We will be starting with people from the allocation group 4 and on any given day we will have about 20 staff manning this centre, including nine vaccinators, observers, administrators and ushers who will be guiding people from the car park into the centre until they leave again,’ said Cora.

‘People will be brought in by the ushers and come into registration first before they are guided upstairs to one of the nine bays when a vaccinator is free to administer the vaccine.’

Once vaccinated, they must sit in the observation area for roughly 15 minutes before they are allowed leave. Retired nurses, doctors. EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and several people who have returned from abroad who wanted to help out, will make up the team that will be based at the centre.

Dr Emer Shanley – who worked out of the Covid test centre at Ballinacarriga GAA ground for the past year and whose background is in tissue viabilities for West Cork – has been redeployed to Ahamilla and is looking forward to the challenge. ‘Our ethos in both of our centres is to try and make it as seamless a process as possible so everything will be explained at every step of the way. We will take every measure to make people feel at ease,’ said Dr Shanley.

‘By having both centres open it will be a shorter journey for some people and we will alternate the weekends the centres are open, so that people working can have the opportunity to come to a clinic nearer to them too.’

As the supply of vaccines is ramped up over the coming months, Dr Shanley said the centre will vaccinate as many people as is ‘humanely possible each day and the centre will remain open until everyone is vaccinated.’

Clonakilty GAA club have been thanked for accommodating the vaccination centre at their complex.

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