Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle says one vaccination centre is not enough for Donegal

Pringle says one vaccination centre is not enough for Donegal YourMap:

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has questioned whether one vaccination centre in a county the size of Donegal will be enough.

Deputy Pringle said: “The aim of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out should be to make it easy as possible to get as wide an uptake as possible. There are a large number of people who would be normally healthy, but who wouldn’t have transport or the ability to get to Letterkenny.

“Again, we need clarity from this Government. Where do these vaccination centres fit into the overall plans for vaccine roll-out? Are they meant to complement pharmacies and GP clinics in terms of vaccine delivery? How will it be determined who must use these vaccination centres?” Deputy Pringle has previously called on the Minister to ensure that pharmacies are part of the vaccine roll-out.

Deputy Pringle spoke to Highland Radio this morning about his concerns.

He said, for example, Killybegs, where he lives, is 48 miles from Letterkenny and about 55 miles from Sligo, the other nearest vaccination centre.

Deputy Pringle said: “So if you don’t have a car it’s not practical for you to go there.”

He said: “I think what the government should be doing is making access to vaccines as easy as possible for everybody. In order to do that I think it would be entirely reasonable for there to be probably three vaccination centres in Donegal.”

Deputy Pringle also repeated his call for the Government to pursue a zero Covid policy.

Deputy Pringle said while there are obvious differences between Ireland and New Zealand, which has adopted a successful zero Covid approach, the same steps could be taken here, such as tight controls on airports and access to the country.

He said: “I think what we should have done, what business and everybody else would cry out for, is have a lockdown, make sure it works, get the case numbers down low and then we could open up internally.”

If that doesn’t happen, Deputy Pringle asked, what’s the alternative?

“To keep this process of lockdowns going forever? Is that what people want?” he asked.