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Defence Forces thanked at the Citywest Vaccination Centre

 Defence Forces thanked at the Citywest Vaccination Centre

Caption: (l to r) Corporal Shay Singleton, Tommy Flatley, Private Craig Foley, Chris Fitzpatrick, Louise Keighron, RQMS Chris Brady and Aidan O’Connor



Defence Forces were thanked for their significant contribution to the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme at a special event at the Citywest Vaccination Centre (CVC) in recent weeks. 

Speaking at the event, HSE Operations Manager Louise Keighron said they had “learned a lot” from the Defence Force personnel as she paid tribute to the invaluable role they had played in supporting the start-up and functioning of the CVC.

Acknowledging their major contribution, Eileen Whelan, Chief Director of Nursing & Midwifery in the Dublin Midland Hospital Group reflected how:

“In the early days of planning in 2020, the Defence Forces worked in partnership with clinical and non-clinical staff from across hospitals and the community, the National Ambulance Service and Volunteer Ireland in transforming a hotel complex into a high performing health facility.  It became a centre where over 300 staff which included vaccinators, administration, pharmacy, catering, cleaning and security worked seven days a week to ensure our population could be vaccinated, as quickly as possible. It was a truly successful partnership and we are really grateful to the Defence forces for all their hard work.”

Irish Aer Corp Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Chris Brady explained how Citywest became "the flagship and blueprint when it came to setting up other vaccination centres around the country, particularly in terms of the collaborative approach between agencies like the HSE and the Defence Forces."

 In total, 24 members of the Defence Forces were stationed at the CVC. This included military doctors and paramedics, who also worked as vaccinators.

Other Defence Forces personnel were involved in supporting the logistical running of the centre, providing  support both inside and outside which was particularly important on days when up to 5,000 members of the general public came to the centre to get their vaccine.