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More than 10,000 vaccines administered across Cork and Kerry

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Cork Kerry Community Healthcare vaccinators are have completed the first round of the roll-out of the Pfzier BioNtech vaccine in nursing homes and community hospitals in the region.

By the end of Sunday (yesterday), the vaccine was offered to residents and staff at more than 90 nursing homes and community hospitals, with more than 10,000 vaccines doses administered across the two counties.

This mammoth task has been undertaken by peer vaccinators in Cork Kerry Community Healthcare facilities, and teams of HSE vaccinators in private and voluntary facilities. Teams from the South South West Hospital Group have also supported the vaccination roll-out in the community.

ROLL-OUT

Now, the roll-out will immediately move to residents aged over 65 in other long-term residential facilities, including disability and mental health facilities, with supply of the vaccine the only limiting factor.

Among the facilities where residents and staff were offered the vaccine this weekend were St Joseph’s Nursing Home in Killorglin.

Kay O’Connor, vaccination team lead in Kerry said that the teams have worked from early in the morning to late at night, all with the aim of protecting residents of nursing homes and community hospitals.

Private nursing homes have been very supportive of the teams, she explained.

“It is a great achievement to have offered and administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to all the nursing homes in Kerry within a two-week period and this would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all the staff. The nursing homes were extremely welcoming of the vaccination team and every nursing home had extra staff on hand to help in the delivery of this very important vaccination programme. Everyone worked well together and we all look forward to working together again in the coming weeks in the delivery of the second phase of this national programme,” she said.

She also pleaded with the public to continue to keep up with all the measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Please continue to heed the Public Health advice. By rolling out this vaccine to nursing home residents and the wider community, we will eventually see an end to COVID-19,” Kay added.

Priscilla Lynch, COVID-19 lead for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare added “a huge thank-you” to “everyone involved in the vaccination programme”.

“As well as our teams of vaccinators, so many others have worked tirelessly behind the scenes on this roll-out so that we can get the vaccine delivered quickly and safely.”

CHALLENGES

While the vaccination roll-out is going ahead as quickly as possible, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare reminds the public that nursing homes and residential centres are still facing enormous challenges.

There are currently 47 outbreaks in residential settings across Cork and Kerry which includes nursing homes, community hospitals, disability centres and mental health services. Most of these are in residential centres for older people ie private nursing homes and community hospitals.

APPEAL

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Chief Officer Michael Fitzgerald said:

“I cannot overstate how serious the situation is right now for many nursing homes, community hospitals and other centres. The level of staff ill with COVID-19 across the health service means that it is difficult for some locations to maintain their staffing at the levels needed, and this is a constant challenge. The HSE and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare is now supporting a significant number of residential centres in crisis. Staff are going to heroic lengths to make sure that residents continue to receive the care they need, and their communities may never know the debt of gratitude we all owe them.”

Mr Fitzgerald said that despite these heroic efforts of healthcare staff, there is still an urgent need for more healthcare staff, particularly nurses and healthcare assistants, to redeploy to nursing homes.

“I repeat our appeal for any healthcare staff, particularly nurses and healthcare assistants not currently involved in direct care of patients or residents and who are available to contact me on MichaelM.Fitzgerald@hse.ie.

Mr Fitzgerald said that the best way for everyone else to support the efforts of healthcare workers is to simply stay at home as much as possible.

“In particular, we ask everyone to stay at home and avoid contact with anyone outside your own household. This is the best way for you to play your part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect residents in nursing homes and our healthcare workers,” he said.

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Artists invited to showcase work at Wine and Art night

It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November. The pandemic enforced its absence and now […]

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It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November.

The pandemic enforced its absence and now every effort is being made to make up for lost time.

Widely regarded as one of the social highlights of the year in Killarney, this year’s gathering will take place in the Great Southern Killarney on Wednesday, November 30, commencing at 7.15pm.

Tickets, which will be available at the door, are priced at €20 and all proceeds raised on the night will go to deserving local charities and community organisations.

Over the years the evening of wine and art has raised tens of thousands of Euro for great causes and the 2022 proceeds will be of enormous benefit to the chosen groups.

This year, once again, the event is being held in association with Daly’s SuperValu and supported by Killarney Brewing and Distilling Company.

Rotary Club President, Rayla Tadjimatova, has appealed to all artists who might like to showcase their work on the night to get in touch with club members, as soon as possible, to guarantee inclusion.

“We are reaching out not only to artists who have supported the event in the past but to any new artists who wish to take the opportunity to place their work in front of a very appreciative local audience of up to one thousand people on the night,” she said.

Those interested should email killarneyrotaryclub@gmail.com as soon as possible.

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Gardai seek whereabouts of missing Kerry teen

Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager. Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3). He is described as being […]

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Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager.

Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3).

He is described as being approximately 6ft in height, of a slim build with brown hair and green eyes. When last seen Nicolas was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a black hoody top. He was also carrying a black bag.

Anyone with information on Nicolas’ whereabouts is asked to contact Tralee Garda Station on 066 710 2300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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