People are being warned not the attend the walk-in vaccine booster clinic at UCD due to “very large queuing times”.
The centre opened at 8am this morning, with the HSE warning people not to attend less than 50 minutes later.
It said the centre is now at capacity and encourages people to attend other walk-in centres in the capital – with the Shoreline centre in Greystones open from 9am.
Shortly after 10:30am, the HSE said the Croke Park centre was also at full capacity.
Just been sent home after queuing an hour, approx a mile long, Garda Presence and very irritated people there - HSE should have anticipated this in all fairness but keep up the good work guys ✌🏾🇮🇪✌🏾 pic.twitter.com/OJNd4mFUrY
— Joseph Keegan (@Whois_Joe_90) December 9, 2021
On The Pat Kenny Show, the Chair of the Irish Medical Organisation’s GP Committee Dr Denis McCauley said the UCD queues are “a good news story”.
“For all the issues at mass vaccination centres, I think if you look at the urgency … if you look at the uptake in the over-80s for instance, which was purely a GP-mediated one, the uptake is up to 85%,” he said.
“That is excellent, that is really good but for the first to shots it was 99%. So, there are people keen to get it.
“I think as time goes on and we hopefully find that this vaccine will as Pfizer said neutralise the new variant, I think there will be another upswing in demand.”
— Martine Brangan (@martinebran) December 9, 2021
UPDATE: Croke Park is at full capacity for this morning
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) December 9, 2021
It comes after the HSE confirmed people are being offered multiple booster appointments due to an issue with the vaccine programme’s IT system.
It said GPs and Pharmacies operate on different IT systems to the HSE programme – and it can take as long as two days for one system to notify the other.
As a result, it said, patients who have already been jabbed at their GP or pharmacy can be offered new appointments “from time to time”.
The situation may explain the high levels of ‘no-shows’ for appointments at vaccine centres.
The Taoiseach told the Dáil on Tuesday that there have been around 215,000 no-shows for booster appointments in the past fortnight.
The queues at UCD come on the day the booster rollout was extended to everybody over the age of 50. Healthcare workers, the immunocompromised and people with underlying conditions are also eligible.
In addition to the walk-in clinics, people can organise an appointment with the HSE or with their GP or pharmacy.
Main image shows large queues at the walk-in vaccine centre at UCD this morning, 09-12-2021. Image: Martine Brangan