| 16.7°C Dublin

Vaccination roll out at Aviva to be paused for two days for Japan rugby international

Close

Ireland will renew their rivalry with Japan on Saturday for the first time since their disastrous World Cup campaign. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile

Ireland will renew their rivalry with Japan on Saturday for the first time since their disastrous World Cup campaign. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile

Ireland will renew their rivalry with Japan on Saturday for the first time since their disastrous World Cup campaign. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile

Dublin’s Aviva Stadium is out of action as a Covid-19 vaccination centre for the next two days because of Saturday’s rugby international between Ireland and Japan.

Up to 3,000 people a day are vaccinated at the Dublin 4 venue.

The HSE said that when it entered into a contract with the Aviva to use it as a vaccination centre it was subject to five dates needed for sports fixtures.

Two rugby fixtures comprising Saturday’s clash and another on July 10 – including the day before each for set up – mean vaccinations are paused there. There is a soccer match on July 15.

A spokesman said the closures would not affect vaccination levels as there have been additional appointments scheduled in advance and some extra vaccinations have been redirected to the UCD centre.

“At the start of the pandemic Aviva stadium was offered, at no charge, to the Government and HSE by the FAI and IRFU,” a spokesman for the Aviva stadium said.

“From April 2020 until March 2021 the stadium was used for Covid testing carried out by the Defence Forces. Over 66,000 tests were carried out in that time.

“Since March 2021 the stadium has been used by the HSE as a vaccination centre, again at no charge for the facility. To date over 160,000 vaccinations have been administered.

“The arrangement with the HSE from the outset is that the stadium reverts to either IRFU or FAI for matches. Vaccinations resume the following day.”

It comes as intense focus now switches to the vaccination roll-out amid the bleak forecasts of another serious wave of coronavirus this summer triggered by the Delta variant.

It emerged yesterday the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) did not factor in new advice allowing for the use of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, previously confined to over-50s, to all over-18s.

This could open the way for younger groups who are being most hit by the variant so far to get vaccinated earlier but it will be very reliant on the HSE getting enough deliveries.

The target to have 4.5m doses administered by the end of June will not be met but as of Monday 4.1m vaccines had been given out so far.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

It comes as the 452 new cases of coronavirus were reported yesterday with 44 patients in hospital, down two from the previous day.

There were 14 patients in intensive care, also a fall of two.

Dr Cillian de Gascun, head of the National Virus Reference Laboratory in UCD, yesterday predicted the Delta variant could be dominant here by the middle of this month.

It currently accounts for around 55pc of cases. It carried an increased risk of hospitalisation but the mortality rate so far is lower than that for the UK Alpha variant, which had been dominant here.

Vaccinations provide a weapon against the virus this time but these work best when a person has two doses.

The variant is gaining ground in France and Spain. The UK recorded 26,068 cases yesterday, the highest since January.

Daily cases in the UK, where the Delta variant is dominant, have been rising for more than a month but deaths are low. This is down to the rapid vaccine roll-out.


Most Watched





Privacy