Pictured is Dr Una Fallon, Director of Public Health HSE Midlands

Local HSE chief calls for community help in vaccination drive

Dr Una Fallon, Director of Public Health in the HSE Midlands Department of Public Health, covering the four counties of Longford, Westmeath, Laois and Offaly, this week, asked for the support of everybody in efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination uptake rates in our communities.

“As you know the national COVID-19 case numbers are rising again and we have seen a significant increase in our own counties in the Midlands as well as nationally in the last two weeks.

“Vaccination against COVID-19 is safe and effective. While the number of cases, hospitalisations and numbers in ICU are increasing, the hospital situation would be worse if over 90% of our population was not vaccinated. The death rate from COVID is a fraction of what it would be without the vaccine. Everything possible is being done to protect the most vulnerable such as the elderly, the immunocompromised and Health Care Workers and these groups are currently being offered a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or ‘booster’ vaccine.

“COVID-19 vaccination is the greatest measure we can all take in order to protect ourselves and others from severe infection, hospitalisation, and even death. It is in all our interests - medically, socially, culturally, economically – to try to achieve the highest vaccination rate possible in the Midlands,” she added.

The HSE Midlands Department of Public Health, is urging people, to come forward to receive their COVID-19 vaccine and booster in an effort to improve vaccination uptake in the region.

While the majority of people in the Midlands eligible for vaccination have come forward, vaccination uptake rates in some of the Local Electoral Areas (LEAs) are lower than the national average

Dr Fallon explained that The Midlands Department of Public Health is working on a number of strategies to improve COVID-19 vaccination uptake rates in the region including supporting a range of workplaces and hard-to-reach communities with vaccine advocacy using translated materials and dedicated vaccination clinics.

“However, we need help and would appreciate support from all local community and voluntary organisations in spreading the message. We know that COVID-19 vaccines save lives,” she added.