Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The population on Clare Island are set to be vaccinated against Covid-19 over the course of the next few days. The Islanders had been advocating to be prioritised for vaccines in recent weeks.

The sun setting over Clare Island and Clew Bay. Residents of the Mayo island are set to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations this week.

They received word last week arrangements were being made between the HSE and the Air Corps to have the vaccines airlifted to the Island yesterday, March 15.
The vaccine is now expected to be rolled out over the course of the next two days to the island’s population. Chris O’Grady, an 85-year old Clare Island resident told the Western People he is now looking forward to getting his jab.
“There was an air of anxiety when we didn’t receive vaccinations. It was annoying to be overlooked when other island communities around Ireland received theirs.
“I’ll be more confident once I have my vaccine. It’ll give us more flexibility and I’m looking forward to being able to visit Westport again.”
The island experienced an outbreak of the virus in late January, which affected some local services including the shop and post office.
Brendan Tobin, a community development coordinator with Cliara Development Company, said there is great relief among the community now the vaccination programme will begin on the island.
“It’s a great relief to the community. Clare Island had a worrying experience with Covid-19 and that brought to light how fragile an island community can be without its frontline workers.”
“Thanks to the great work of the GP’s and our local public health nurses, we got through that and none of our vulnerable people got the virus.”

Brendan Tobin in the Digital Hub at Clare Island Community Centre.

Mr Tobin said they were extremely grateful to those who advocated for the delivery of the vaccines and getting the whole island vaccinated is a practical and comprehensive solution to the issue.
“We’re thankful to Dr Noreen Curtis and others who worked so hard to advocate to ensure there was a comprehensive response to Covid-19 on Clare Island.”
“The whole island is to be vaccinated now. It makes sense on a practical basis to cover the whole island and to do it all once.”
Three other adjacent islands will be also vaccinated as part of this process. A HSE spokesperson said they have been engaged directly with the GP’s who provide services to these islands to jointly agree this bespoke solution to the vaccination of residents

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