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Use centres for HPV jab, says councillor

VACCINATION of young people against HPV should be carried out at the centres currently used to administer Covid jabs, according to one member of the local authority.
Councillor Mary Howard received widespread support at the July meeting of the authority for a motion appealing to the Minister for Health to seriously consider using mass vaccination centres to administer the HPV vaccine, and to roll out a free ‘catch-up’ programme for secondary school students.
The Fine Gael member outlined how her motion was inspired by time spent with the family of the late vaccine advocate Laura Brennan. “They’ve highlighted their concerns at the pace of the roll-out of the HPV vaccine. Before the pandemic, uptake was over 80%. The programme was paused due to Covid and it’s down to 63% at the moment. Challenges have also been posed by the cyber attack and we now need a meaningful catch-up to get back to 80%. We have all seen how incredibly efficient the mass vaccination centres are and I’m suggesting that we use these for students. The centres will be there for some time and we also have 1,100 pharmacists willing to come on board.”
The motion was seconded by Councillor Donna McGettigan who described it as “fantastic and timely”. “The efficiency of the mass centres is second-to-none, we should use them,” she said. Councillor Clare Colleran-Molloy agreed saying that infrastructure already in place should be used to maximum effect. The motion was described by Councillor Cillian Murphy as showing “absolutely brilliant common sense”.
Councillor Howard thanked colleagues for their support and requested that the motion be circulated to other local authorities. “We have done quite well in Clare, thanks to the advocacy of Laura and her family,” she noted. “Thanks to Laura, the rate of vaccination went from 50% to over 80%. We are anxious to get it back up to those levels.”

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