Detailed HSE report sought on planned rollout of Covid vaccine in Mayo rural communities

A Mayo member of the HSE West Forum has stated the planned rollout of a Covid vaccine next year will pose particular challenges in rural counties.

Councillor Michael Kilcoyne is seeking a detailed report on the preparations to distribute and store the vaccine across the region as well as to establish how people from every community can easily access immunisation clinics.

The Castlebar-based representative echoed the concerns of the chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, who said health services across the country will face logistical challenges once vaccines are approved for use early next year.

Said Councillor Kilcoyne: “We have a number of large pharmaceutical companies in the region which may be in a position to provide the type of low temperature storage needed for the vaccine.

“It needs to be established immediately whether or not our existing hospital laboratories have the type of sophisticated refrigeration required.

“There is an urgency in that respect.

“We have to ensure that all shortcomings are addressed as swiftly as possible to pave the way for all communities - particularly vulnerable people and healthcare workers - to receive the vaccine once it becomes available in Mayo.

“It’s essential that it is rolled out in all counties at the same time. That’s why it’s so important at this point to guarantee that Mayo has all the necessary equipment and staff in place ahead of the release of the vaccine.

“I intend raising this matter at next Tuesday's meeting of the forum in order for the public to be fully aware of the steps being taken in their respective areas as we move, hopefully, to defeating this pandemic after a very trying year for every sector of society.”

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