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pop-up on point Temporary vaccination clinics for Travellers only planned for Limerick

According to Pavee Point, members of the Travelling community are hesitant of receiving the vaccine because they are getting a lot of misinformation from social media

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The pop-up Covid-19 vaccination centres in Limerick will be available for Travellers only

The pop-up Covid-19 vaccination centres in Limerick will be available for Travellers only

The pop-up Covid-19 vaccination centres in Limerick will be available for Travellers only

Pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinics for Travellers only are being planned for Limerick.

The temporary centres will be established in towns across the county to encourage members of the Travelling community to get their first and/or second vaccines.

According to the Limerick Leader, these centres will be open to the Travelling community only.

A spokesperson for the Mid-West Department of Public Health told the publication that HSE agencies are continuously exploring the use of pop-up clinics and targeted local campaigns to improve vaccination uptake in communities.

“A small proportion of the eligible population has yet to be fully vaccinated, so we continue to encourage those who have yet to receive a free vaccine, to do so at the earliest opportunity," a spokesperson said.

"Full vaccination offers significant protection against infection, illness, hospitalisation, and serious outcomes where an infection occurs.”

The spokesperson also asked the public to be “extra vigilant of misinformation and disinformation on social media and only use trusted sources like the HSE".

Pavee Point Co-Director Martin Collins has said that members of the Travelling community are hesitant of receiving the vaccine because they are getting a lot of “misinformation” from social media.

“We say to them you need to get your information from reliable sources like the HSE,” he explained.

Pavee Point, whose mission is to contribute to improvement in the quality of life, living circumstances, status and participation of Travellers & Roma people, has worked in collaboration with the HSE in Dublin to facilitate pop-up vaccination clinics on halting sites.

“We welcome and fully support it,” Martin said of the news to open similar centres in Limerick.

“It is about making it very easy and very accessible and it couldn’t be any more accessible than having a pop-up clinic right in the middle of the place that you live. Thankfully, the reaction has been very positive and the uptake has been great,” he explained.

However, he said that there is still a large number of Travellers who are hesitant about getting the vaccines and haven’t received one yet.

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“Pavee Point and other Traveller groups just have to continue to try and get the message through that this is really important to protect themselves and their family," he added. "It is a bit of a challenge. There is a significant cohort who are very hesitant.”

A 2020 report on the impact of Covid-19 on the Traveller and Roma communities said that Travellers and Roma people are at a greater risk of contracting Covid-19. It cited the standardised mortality rate for travellers - which is three times greater than that of the general population.

Infant mortality rates were also reported as three times greater than that of the general population.

According to the report, these communities “disproportionately experience chronic health conditions” which makes them more at risk to Covid-19.

The report stated that the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Traveller and Roma communities, along with restrictions on movement and contact, have placed a “greater stress on mental health and wellbeing”.

According to data, 95.3 per cent of the eligible population (aged 12 and over) in Limerick have received at least one vaccine.

In Ireland, 90.61 per cent of the eligible population have received at least one vaccine and 89.01 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.

On Saturday, the Department of Health confirmed 4,642 new cases of Covid-19.

Friday, November 12 saw Ireland’s highest Covid figures since January, with 5,483 cases reported.

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