The island’s vaccination rollout programme has stepped up a gear with the opening of the airport vaccine hub.
Built in the check-in area of Ronaldsway, the hub includes 10 vaccination cubicles, each kitted out with all necessary equipment. The jabs are being administered by nurses from the Health Visiting and School Nursing teams.
Members of the public will be greeted at the entrance where they complete necessary paperwork and wait to be called forward for their jab in one of the cubicles, before moving away from the clinical area and making their way to the exit.
The hub has been designed to ensure an efficient and comfortable operation for patients and staff, which allows a steady flow of people through the facility, from arrival to departure. It incorporates a nurses’ coordination station, an administration area and a range of facilities for staff.
Minister David Ashford said: ‘Today’s opening is a significant landmark in our rollout programme. I thank everyone involved – they’ve shown exceptional team-work and a collective determination to make it happen. The new facility is built to do one job and I am confident it will do it well. The hub can cater for hundreds of people each day and will allow our rollout to ramp-up, vaccine supplies allowing – a caveat I must always include.
‘The airport is easily accessible by car and well served by public transport. I urge the public not to wait for additional venues to open, but to go to the current centres we have in Douglas and here at the airport, where they are able to get here under their own steam or with help from a friend or relative. As we move towards easing restrictions we mustn’t forget this continues to be a health emergency, and our programme is based on vaccinating priority groups in turn at the earliest opportunity. Please help prevent any delays by going for your jab where and when invited.’
The hub comes on stream in the fourth week of the island’s rollout programme and will operate from Thursday to Sunday initially, in line with the scheduled availability of vaccine on the island; operating in tandem with the Newlands facility at Noble’s Hospital and the rollout to care home residents island-wide. This means the vaccine is now going into arms seven days a week.
Just over 400 people, mainly in the over 80s age group, are attending for a jab today, to protect them from the worst of Covid-19.