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Appeal for young people to use walk-in facility

YOUNG people in Strabane are being urged to avail of a walk-in clinic coming to the Alley Theatre this afternoon (Tuesday) to get their Covid-19 vaccination.

The clinic is offering first dose Pfizer vaccines and is open to everyone over the age of 18. There is no need to make an appointment. The walk-in facility is one of a series of clinics planned by the Western Trust to target areas of low vaccination uptake.

Urging anyone who is not already vaccinated to take advantage of the facility coming to the town, Dr Karen Walsh from Riverside Practice in Strabane explained, “I would encourage all adults particularly our young adults to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones. I would like to reassure people that vaccines are safe and effective in preventing severe Covid-19 and remind people that every vaccine brings us closer to getting back to normality and to doing things that we enjoy and love.

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“I am aware in the 18-29-year-olds 50 per-cent have had their first dose, in the 30-40 age range two-thirds have their first vaccine, and overall 60 per-cent of all adults are fully vaccinated.

“Thankfully I haven’t seen much personal resistance to the vaccination programme,” she explained.

“Most of the people I have been chatting to have been very pro-active about getting vaccinated so I would just like to encourage that, and to empower young people to go and get vaccinated for themselves and others,” Dr Walsh continued.

“There has been a slight upturn in the daily case numbers recorded, with a slight increase in the last week or so of cases presenting as unwell, and this is mostly people who have had no vaccine or are partially vaccinated so obviously the more vaccines we get out to people the less that will translate into hospital admissions. and this will help reduce the numbers.”

“People who have also missed their second dose are urged to catch-up as soon as possible,” Dr Walsh added.

The clinic at the Alley There will take place on July 20 from 4-8pm. There will also be a drop-in facility at the Derg Valley Healthy Living Centre in Castlederg the following Tuesday, July 27, from 4-8pm.

The clinics are open to everyone over 18 and will administer first jabs of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine only. This is on a first come, first served basis. There will be no walk-in facility to receive second doses at these walk-in clinics.

Difficulties

Western Trust head of Health Improvement, Seamus Ward, explained “We are targeting both urban areas with low uptake and rural communities that have difficulties accessing the mass vaccination sites. It is important for us in the Trust to reduce barriers to accessing a vaccine for people living in more geographically spread out areas and areas where uptake levels to date have been low, for a variety of reasons.

“These clinics are open to everyone aged over 18 who have not yet had their first vaccine, so we would encourage everyone to keep an eye on our news and social media channels for updates and to come along to their nearest clinic when the opportunity arises.”

If you wish to organise a second dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine, you can either walk in to one of the Western Trust’s three Mass Vaccination Centres located at Foyle Arena, Derry, Omagh Leisure Centre and the Lakeside Leisure Centre, Enniskillen – providing the interval of six weeks has passed since the date of the first jab.

Astrazeneca

Anyone requiring a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is being advised to arrange to visit their local community pharmacy or the SSE Arena to arrange their vaccination, as long as the required eight week period has passed since receipt of the first dose.

The Trust would also remind everyone over 18 that if you don’t want to risk waiting at a walk in session you can make a scheduled appointment at one of the Mass Vaccination Centres directly 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.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 4 Castle Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AB