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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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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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