The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) has helped deliver another major ‘step towards normality’ after it officially delivered its 50,000th Covid-19 vaccine dose on Friday.
The 50,000th dose was administered to Conor Curley from Derry, who is a carer for both his elderly parents, at the Western Trust mass vaccination centre located at the Foyle Arena in the city.
The impressive milestone has been delivered through the coordinated efforts of Western Trust staff working closely with Multi-Agency groups across the Trust area since the vaccination programme was launched in mid-January.
To date care home residents, healthcare staff, the clinically vulnerable and the over 65s have all been able to access their first jab.
Last week, health minister Robin Swann announced the next major phase of the vaccination programme, with its extension to carers over 18 and those with underlying health conditions also now qualifying.
The mass vaccination programme being delivered locally by the Western Trust Western is the largest programme of its kind ever undertaken by the NHS. This programme is led by Department of Health in Northern Ireland and the Western Trust is operating three vaccination centres, located at Foyle Arena Derry/Londonderry, Omagh Leisure Centre and Lakeside Leisure Centre, Enniskillen. The programme also includes vaccination at all care homes and provides home visits by District nursing staff in limited cases.
This total is in addition to the number of doses administered by GPs across the Trust area who are vaccinating those in the over 70s category by direct appointment.
Commenting on the hugely significant milestone, Western Trust Director of Human Resources and Vaccine Programme Lead, Ann McConnell, said: “We are absolutely delighted with achieving this key milestone and with the progress and pace of the Mass Vaccination Programme to date.
“This has only been possible due to the hard work, dedication and efforts of our staff and partners across the Trust area.
“From the booking staff, to the reception staff to the domestic staff, the vaccinators and the managers behind the scenes, every last person has played a huge role and for that we are very grateful.
“We’ve had people return to join our efforts who used to work for us and their diligence and their positivity mean that people who go to the vaccination centres say they’ve had a great experience and I just want to thank everyone involved for all of their efforts to help us get to this milestone of 50,000 doses administered.”
Those who meet the eligible criteria can now book their place by visiting the online booking portal https://covid-19.hscni.net/get-vaccinated/; or by calling the regional booking line on 0300 200 7813 from Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
Those within the Western Trust area can also call the local booking line on 028 7161 0753.
Anyone invited to attend one of the Mass Vaccination Centres is reminded to wear a face covering (unless exempt for medical reasons), adhere to social distancing rules and bring along their booking reference number, ID and, if possible HSC number.