Tipperary churches to be used as vaccine hubs?


Churches in Tipperary could be used as vaccine hubs says Cllr Andy Moloney

Using the facilities is "a no brainer" says Cllr Andy Moloney

Tipperary County Council is to put forward a proposal to the HSE that churches in towns and villages of rural Ireland be used as vaccine hubs, rather than super hubs being utilised at strategic centres.

The forward thinking proposal from Independent Councillor Andy Moloney has already been floated by him with the Health Minister and the council is to also put forward the suggestion at a meeting with the HSE this week.

Cllr Moloney told  “Churches are very well ventilated buildings and most of them have the capacity to deal with a one door in and one door out system. There is plenty of space inside for people to wait before and after getting the jab and parking would not be an issue in most churches also.

Tipperary County Councillor Andy Moloney

“The key though, is that people would not have to travel distances to get the vaccine - they could log on to the website, enter their name, book their time and off they go.

“There is a lot of talk about pharmacies giving the vaccines, but from my interaction with a lot of pharmacies, they don't want to be doing that on their premises because they don't have the facilities,” Cllr Moloney said.

Cllr Moloney added that there would be no difficulty with social distancing in churches as most have already set out their seating arrangements to cater for this and he described the utilising of the facilities as “a no brainer.”

Pharmacists, and other qualified personnel, he said, could administer the vaccine in the churches with the local authority assisting the HSE in the operating of the hubs at the churches.

Cllr Moloney said that the idea of people having to travel distances to the proposed super hubs is not a runner - the govt. had proposed fifteen of these, but then increased it to forty. It would be far better to bring people the short distance to their own local church to get the vaccine, he said.

Chief Executive Officer of the council, Mr Joe MacGrath said that the local authority is engaging regularly with the HSE and said that it is very reassuring to hear that the vaccination rollout is up and moving.

He pledged to bring the suggestion from Cllr Moloney to the HSE and said that he would expect vaccine hubs to require a substantial amount of space in order to deal with the process in an efficient and effective manner.

Meanwhile, former Government Minister, Dr Sean McCarthy (FF) says that GP's should be deployed to give the vaccines - 10 vaccines per week for ever Irish GP would amount to 40,000 being vaccinated per month.

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