Preparatory work is well underway at Kerry’s two mass-vaccination centres, and the HSE says the centres – in Tralee and Killarney – will be ready to go as soon as sufficient quantities of vaccine arrive and public vaccinations begin in earnest.
his week, The Kerryman was granted access to the vaccination centres, located at the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre; and the Kerry Sports Academy building at the Munster Technological University North Campus at Dromtacker in Tralee.
Construction and kit-out is largely complete at both, and the HSE is now working to fully equip and staff the centres.
“The centres are at varying stages of development and will be ready well in advance of receipt of the vaccine supply. Work is underway now to ensure that the centres will be ready as soon as vaccine supply is available, and additional updates will be provided as soon as information on confirmed vaccine supply becomes available,” said HSE Communications Manager Mary Smithwick.
“Identifying, equipping and staffing these vaccination centres is a considerable undertaking, and we would like to sincerely thank all of the staff who are working so hard to make these vital centres a reality in a short space of time. The work of our staff means that these vaccination centres will be available to vaccinate large numbers of people as soon as vaccine supplies allow.”
The centres’ operating hours will be based on vaccine supply, and they will run on an appointment-only basis.
The HSE said it does not expect vaccines will be administered in the centres “in the short-term” as the current priority groups due to receive vaccinations are residents and staff in long-term care facilities, alongside front-line healthcare workers.
Meanwhile, Kerry’s COVID rate has dropped sharply in recent weeks, and the county currently has the lowest incidence rate in the country. According to the most recent figures available, fewer than 44 cases were recorded in the county in the last week, with just two new cases diagnosed in Kerry on Saturday.
Kerry’s incidence rate per 100,000 people now stands at 103.6, well below the national average of 272.1.