Closure of Vaccination Centre in Arklow before a single dose administered

Wicklow Sinn Féin public representatives have called on the Minister for Health to ensure that an alternative local is secured in Arklow for the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine as part of the vaccination programme. This follows the confirmation that the contract to use the Arklow Bay is to expire without it actually being used to administer a single dose of the Covid vaccine.

Deputy Brady said: “The announcement that the 3-month contract to use the Arklow Bay Hotel for a vaccination centre isn’t going to be extended is a massive blow to the roll out of the Covid vaccination programme in Wicklow. An alternative location in the area must be immediately secured and opened to ensure that people in Wicklow aren’t further impacted by this unsatisfactory announcement.”

“In February the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly made an announcement that two vaccination centres were to open in Wicklow. One was to be established at the former Charlesland Golf Club in Greystones and the second in the Arklow Bay Hotel in Arklow. It later transpired that the contract hadn’t actually been signed to use the former Charlesland Golf Club and the HSE had to quickly scramble to find other premises to use. Eventually they secured the use of the Shoreline centre in Greystones.”

“The announcement that the contract to use the Arklow Bay expires before a single Covid vaccine is administered is a damning indictment  of the Minister who seems to be more concerned about grabbing a headline and photo op as opposed to ensuring that due diligence is given to the details of the vaccine plan.”  

“The administration of Covid-19 vaccinations had been delayed in Arklow and has resulted in many people from the south of the county having to travel to the Greystones centre to receive their vaccination. In turn people from the North of the County have been forced to travel into Dublin to be vaccinated. Forcing people, many of whom are very vulnerable, to take long journeys to be vaccinated is totally unacceptable, particularly when there is poor access to public transport.”  

Local Arklow area representative Ciarán Deay said of the recent announcement: “Unfortunately Arklow seems to be receiving more and more bad news each week.” 

“I have been contacted by a number of people who were unable to travel to Greystones to receive their vaccine and were told they would be accommodated in the Arklow Centre when it opened. What is going to happen to these people now?” 

“This is a reflection on the Government’s admissible performance over the last number of months. How this situation has happened needs to be examined and an explanation given to all those who were due to receive vaccines.  A new location for the centre must be identified as soon as possible” 

Deputy Brady concluded “The Minister needs to take action now. We cannot have the rollout of the vaccination programme delayed any longer across the county. We also need accountability, so we need to know exactly how this situation happened and how much it has cost.”

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