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GPs and pharmacists ready to sign up to national vaccine plan

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By Michelle Crean

Local GPs and pharmacies are ready and willing to sign up to the Government's newly announced €91m national plan to administer the COVID vaccine.

As cases still remain high across the country and county, the Government is looking for new ways to get the vaccine out to the public in a more efficient way starting from February.

The plan was presented and then signed off by Cabinet on Tuesday morning by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, and it's understood that GPs and pharmacists will be paid €25 for administering each dose of the vaccine under the deal, with an additional €10 processing fee paid per patient.

As of Wednesday night, 121,900 vaccines have been given to frontline healthcare workers and residents and staff in nursing homes nationally as part of the State’s vaccination programme.

Local pharmacist Ian Trant of Sewells Pharmacy in High Street said that although they have yet to receive any information from the HSE about how it will all proceed, that they will "more then likely sign up" to the deal.

"Once we hear from the HSE, we'll have to sit down and think about it," Ian told the Killarney advertiser this week.
"It's vaccination centres they should be setting up straight away for more space, somewhere like the Aura or the INEC or any hotel with a big function room."

Dr Laura Malone from Killarney GP, said that they too "will be taking part in the COVID-19 vaccination programme".

"It is important for patients to be aware that we do not have any vaccine at present," she told the Killarney Advertiser.

"There is no special list you can be added to so please do not ring your GP to be added to the list. Vaccine roll out will be very specifically targeted at age groups starting with the over 85s. Patients will be invited to attend for their vaccine."

DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES

On Wednesday the Minister for Health also welcomed confirmation that the HSE is to make available to GPs increased direct access to diagnostic services from this week.

The initiative will give GPs across the country the ability to access an additional 94,000 diagnostic procedures, such as X-Rays, CT scans, MRIs, and DEXA.

"This will be a game changer for General Practice," Dr Malone added. "It means that GPs will be able to provide a more effective service for patients. International evidence shows that increased access to diagnostics will lead to a reduction in diagnostic delay, a reduction in the number of referrals to both emergency and out-patient departments, a reduction in unnecessary admissions and an improvement in the quality of referrals overall. This in turn will lead to more effective use of the hospital services and improve the quality of service for patients."

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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