Huge queues for booster vaccines as people turned away from Dublin centres
Demand for the booster jab is clear following massive turnouts at Croke Park and UCD, both of which quickly hit full capacity.
Walk-in booster vaccination centres quickly hit full capacity on Thursday morning, with large queues prompting the Health Service Executive of Ireland (HSE) to ask people to find alternate options.
Images of lengthy queues at University College Dublin circulated on social media, with the HSE urging people to avoid the centre entirely.
Not long afterwards, the HSE confirmed that Croke Park is also at full capacity for the morning.
UPDATE: Croke Park is at full capacity for this morning
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) December 9, 2021
A full list of available centres has been provided, though it would appear that the present level of demand exceeds the resources available.
The booster vaccine is currently being offered to anyone in Ireland over the age of 50.
Anyone looking to receive the jab is asked to either attend a walk-in vaccination clinic, seek an appointment text via the HSE or contact a participating pharmacy or GP.
From @mandydublin at the UCD vaccination centre at 8am this morning. There’s no lack of enthusiasm for the third shot, the system is just a mess. pic.twitter.com/G1SieU5nWd
— Karl Brophy (@KarlBrophy) December 9, 2021
Earlier this week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin referred to tens of thousands of no-shows for booster vaccine appointments across the country.
On Tuesday, the Taoiseach told the Dáil that 208,000 appointments were offered to eligible people in the week beginning 22 November, but only 80,000 of those arrived to receive the booster.
In response, a representative for the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) said that anyone who willingly misses out on a pre-booked appointment is being "very disrespectful" to vaccination centre staff.
However, the HSE has since confirmed that an IT issue has led to the booking of multiple appointments.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, in urging everyone in the country to avail of the booster vaccine, stated on Wednesday that a fourth dose may be required in order to fully combat the Covid-19 virus.
"It does seem that the existing vaccines are effective against Omicron when it comes to severe disease and death, if not protecting against contracting illness and being unwell," he said.
"That's why I would encourage people to get their third dose, and it’s why I will get my third dose whenever I'm asked to come and get it.
"If and when a new vaccine or a vaccine-tweak for Omicron is ready, of course we'll make that available," Varadkar continued.
"But we don't know when that is yet. It's likely to be three months or more. In the meantime I think it's advisable that people get the third dose and then they may well then get a fourth dose later down the line, because the evidence from Israel is that unfortunately, immunity wanes from third dose as well."
To date, there has been a total of 5,788 deaths related to the virus in Ireland.
Featured Image via Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie