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“I could have been so much worse if I was not vaccinated”

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Killarney woman who contracted COVID appeals for unvaccinated to get the jab

By Michelle Crean

A Killarney woman who this week ended up in hospital battling COVID is appealing for people to get vaccinated.

Lotte Lyne from Rathanane, Kilcummin, says although she had her vaccines, she still ended up catching the virus – but fears the outcome could have been much worse if she hadn’t her jabs.

On Saturday November 27, Lotte came down with a fever, was feeling very nauseous, and lost her sense of smell and felt very unwell which lasted about five to six days.

Then, she told the Killarney Advertiser that all those symptoms stopped, but her breathing was affected and she then developed a chesty cough.

“I ended up in A&E Friday with oxygen levels affected and difficulties in breathing,” Lotte said.

“They put me on two antibiotics and sent me home again. But over the weekend, I was struggling to keep up my oxygen levels and had difficulty breathing. We had to call an ambulance on Saturday. The paramedics where great and felt my vitals were all stable so I got the option to stay at home as I could well end up waiting in the ambulance for many hours if I went to A&E. I chose to stay home, but I got worse again from there and spoke to my doctor Monday and she felt I should be in hospital. I was still reluctant to go as I did not want to put the health services under more pressure.”

However, by Tuesday she had declined further, and her doctor told her to call an ambulance, even though Storm Barra was raging across the county.

“I had to come over during the storm,” she explained. “Paramedics gave me oxygen straight away on the way over and it immediately improved my oxygen levels, but in A&E if oxygen was removed it dropped again. My blood was also off so they needed to rule out a clot in my lungs with a CT scan. Thanks be to God it was clear. They put me back on oxygen and admitted me to a COVID ward. I have a bit of an infection in the lungs but not bad at all, so treating that with antibiotics. My oxygen levels are stable all day without the oxygen, but my breathing is still under pressure.”

Lotte suffers from asthma and that, she says, is what caused the breathing symptoms due to COVID, and she’s been put on two weeks of steroids for that.

“I could have been so much worse if I was not vaccinated, I truly believe that I would have ended up in ICU and who knows if I would have survived. That is why, even though I got COVID and I got quite sick, I am so grateful I got the vaccine as I know it prevented a far worse outcome,” she said.

“My message to the unvaccinated, maybe they are standing on the sideline still, maybe they don’t trust the vaccine, or they don’t feel they need it, what I want to say to them is that they need to be logical, use their critical thinking and follow the documented science. Don’t just listen to everyone and everything on social media, be critical, follow through to the source and use common sense. Look at my story and please, please just go get the vaccine as soon as possible, it is the only smart thing to do. Don’t wait till you get COVID and then realise you were wrong because it will be way to late then.”

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Minister passes the buck on major road upgrade

By Sean Moriarty Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Eamon Ryan has passed the buck after being challenged on why the Killarney to Farranfore road has been further delayed. Transport […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Eamon Ryan has passed the buck after being challenged on why the Killarney to Farranfore road has been further delayed.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) have been putting off the revelation of the preferred route corridor for the badly needed road for months.

Elected councillors at the January meeting of the Killarney Municipal District expressed their anger after TII failed to honour a pre-Christmas promise.

In November last year the roads authority said it would put the preferred corridor on public display by the start of December.

So far, nothing has been published.

This prompted local TD Michael Healy-Rae to bring the issue to the Dáil where he asked Minister Ryan to make a statement on the delay.

However, the Minister passed the buck, saying the matter was for the TII, the very agency that has not honoured its late 2022 promise.

“As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned,” said Ryan.

“This is also subject to the Public Spending Code and the necessary statutory approvals. In this context, TII is best placed to advise you on the status of this project. Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.”

Next Friday (February 10), will mark 10 working days from the date of the statement was made.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Contraceptive Services in Ireland

Birth control or contraception is the use of medicines, devices, or surgery to prevent pregnancy. You can get contraception from most pharmacies in Ireland. Most contraception will need a prescription […]

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Birth control or contraception is the use of medicines, devices, or surgery to prevent pregnancy.

You can get contraception from most pharmacies in Ireland. Most contraception will need a prescription from a GP but you do not need a prescription for emergency contraception or condoms.

You can get prescriptions for contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as advice about contraception from GPs, voluntary organisations and private family planning clinics. Voluntary and private family planning clinics usually have charges but may waive them or have lower fees in certain cases.

In Budget 2023 it was announced that the age range for free contraception will be extended to include women aged 16 and aged 26 to 30, from 1 September 2023. This change requires legislation.

Is contraception free in Ireland?

You can get free contraception if you are:

A woman or person with a uterus
Aged 17 to 26
Living in Ireland

What contraception costs are free for people aged 17 to 26?

Any GP appointments about your contraception options
Contraception prescriptions from your doctor (at participating pharmacies)
Emergency contraception (the morning-after-pill)
Fitting, removal and check-ups of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs)
Other types of contraception such as contraceptive injections, implants, IUS and IUDs (coils), the contraceptive patch and contraceptive ring
Prescriptions for combined oral contraception (the daily pill)

How do I get free contraception if I am aged 17 to 26?

You do not need a medical card.
You need to book an appointment with a GP or doctor to discuss your contraception. This appointment will be free. The GP and pharmacy will ask for your:

PPS number
Name
Date of birth
Address

Your GP will use this information to let the pharmacy know not to charge you for your free contraception prescription. You can also collect your free contraception from some family planning clinics.

Is contraception covered by my medical card?

If you have a medical card, you get free contraceptive drugs, devices and free GP services including contraceptive advice. This also includes emergency contraception. You will have to pay a prescription charge for items you get from pharmacies under the medical card scheme.

What is the situation, if I do not have a medical card?

If you do not have a medical card, and you are not eligible for the free contraception scheme (above), you will have to pay for contraception and contraceptive services. You may be able to reduce the cost of your contraception through the Drug Payment Scheme. For example, the cost of long-acting reversible contraceptives such as the IUS (hormonal coil) or IUD (copper coil). You may also be able to claim tax relief on medical expenses.

Can I get free condoms in Ireland?

Condoms are not free under the medical card or free contraception scheme.

You can get free condoms from:
Sexual health or GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinics
Some sexual health NGOs
Many third level colleges

Where can I get emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is a back-up contraception. You can use emergency contraception up to five days after having unprotected sex, but it is more effective the sooner you take it after unprotected sex.
You can get emergency contraception tablets (sometimes called the morning-after pill) over the counter in most pharmacies without having to go to a doctor for a prescription.

You can get free emergency contraception if:

You have a medical card, or
You are a woman or person with a uterus, aged 17 to 26 and living in Ireland

You can read more about contraception services on the HSE website: www.sexualwellbeing.ie.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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