WIT Arena will be one of 8 mass vaccination centres nationally
Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has said he expects substantial work to commence very shortly on the establishment of a Mass Vaccination Centre (MVC) at WIT Arena, on the city’s by-pass at Carriganore. The news will be welcomed in Waterford as fears had been expressed locally that Waterford would be overlooked for such a centre.
Senator Cummins said “I have heard a lot of rumours and speculation circulating recently that Waterford was not part of HSE plans for a mass vaccination centre, therefore I felt it was important to bring clarity to the situation because misinformation is very unhelpful in the current climate. Naturally I have impressed upon the Tánaiste the suitability of WIT Arena to house the South East mass vaccination centre but ultimately this is an operational matter for the HSE and the Vaccine Rollout Taskforce. Thankfully the availability of a facility of WIT Arena’s scale, quality and location on the city’s bypass made it an ideal choice”.
The National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Strategy which was published in December states “A significant portion of the country’s population may be vaccinated at MVCs. The selected MVCs will have suitable space to enable full compliance with all public health guidelines and will comply with rigorous Infection Prevention and COVID-19 Control measures. In order to achieve this, the HSE has identified existing spaces that can act as national, regional and local Vaccine Administration Locations (VAL’s). VALs must be of a sufficient scale to be efficient and optimise vaccine throughput. In addition, they need to be in, or near to, areas of population density and have sufficient internet connectivity to enable access to the digital solution”.
Senator Cummins said “The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme is a major logistical operation, the like of which the country has not seen before but I have no doubt that these mass vaccination centres, coupled with the vast network of GP’s and pharmacies which we have will be able to administer the necessary quantities of vaccines once sufficient stocks becomes available”.
He concluded by saying “At this point it has not been confirmed when the centre at the WIT Arena will become operational. Naturally a lot will depend on the availability of vaccine supply, however a lot of planning has gone into this and I expect the major logistical operation to establish this mass vaccination centre to start very shortly. On behalf of the people of the Waterford and the South East, I want to wish all those who will be involved in setting up and operating this critical facility every success in the coming weeks and months”.