Longford HSE forum chairperson says Covid-19 vaccine should be rolled out on county by county basis

Brady champions calls for local GAA grounds to be used as vaccination centres

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Covid-19 vaccine

Government and health chiefs should roll out Ireland's Covid-19 vaccine on a regional basis, HSE health forum chairperson Cllr Paraic Brady has said

Ireland's vaccination programme should be administered on a county by county basis, according to the chairperson of Dublin-Mid Leinster's HSE health Forum.

Fine Gael Longford County Councillor said if the go-ahead was given for a regional rollout, the country could return to a "new normality" by as early as the middle of April.

And, he called for local GAA grounds to be utilised as designated vaccination centres as part of the plan.

"If we, as a country, rolled that out and put the right funding in place you could do a county in two days," he told the Leader.

"In Longford-Westmeath, there are what, 90,000 people? It would be horrid bad if you couldn't vaccinate 90,000 people in four days."

Cllr Brady's remarks come as Health Minister Simon Donnelly revealed this morning that according to updated projections, 700,000 people are to receive the coronavirus vaccine by the end of March.

The government expects to receive a further 3.7m vaccine doses from April to the end of June and another 3.8m doses between July and the end of September.

Cllr Brady said the wider public needed to brace themselves for a second year without St Patrick's Day parades or celebrations, but qualified that by insisting an efficient rollout of the vaccine could see local economies reopen for good by as early as mid April.

"If people buy into the vaccine, get the vaccine and we some sort of herd immunity among the population with the virus, I can see, certainly by mid April, we will be back to a new normality and definitely by the middle of the year."