By Keith Faherty
Cases of Covid-19 in Galway and across the country are fluctuating from week to week.
For the entirety of this year and for a significant part of 2020 Ireland has been under tight Covid-19 restriction to keep case numbers down and death at a minimum.
The approval of vaccines for use in Ireland is seen as the way out of this cycle of strict lockdowns that we find ourselves in.
Progress on the vaccination front has left much to be desired so far and slow rollout has led to widespread criticism from the public.
Former Fine Gael TD Seán Kyne feels that more vaccination centres are needed across the country.
Kyne said; “The total numbers of cases in Galway Is still quite high. More progress is needed on vaccinations, progression needs to be aided with the help of more access to vaccination services in the county.”
GPs play an important role of vaccinating the most vulnerable in their practices and in designated hubs across Galway such as Merlin Park.
After they receive their jab patients need to be observed by GPs for a 15-minute period to ensure that they do not have an adverse reaction to the shot such as shoulder pain or sickness.
The locations of vaccination hubs across the country to allow for mass vaccination were announced by the HSE in February, with Ballybrit racecourse being home to Galway’s sole mass vaccination centre.
While this location is ideal for people be living out in the northeast side of Galway additional locations need to be determined for different areas in the county.
Locations such as Tuam in the north of the county, Ballinasloe in the east and Carraroe and Clifden in the western part of county should also be considered as potential locations.
Kyne has suggested people living in Gaeltacht areas need to be provided with vaccination locations closer to their homes.
With the current months of uncertainty that lie ahead for us, and the slow progress of vaccination, some form of restrictions look set to be in place for the long term. If progress can rapidly improve to the point where 80% of the adult population are vaccinated by the summer, it will give people hope and relief of getting back to some normality.