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26 Jan 2022

Mayor urges people to get their booster as Foyle Arena vaccine centre re-opens

Mayor urges people to get their booster as Foyle Arena vaccine centre re-opens

Mayor Graham Warke receives his Covid booster jab at the Foyle Arena

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Graham Warke, has encouraged the public to avail of the Covid-19 vaccine booster after receiving his jab at the Foyle Arena this week.

The Arena, at the request of the Western Health and Social Care Trust, resumed its role as a Mass Vaccination Centre to support the roll out of the extended Vaccination Campaign.

Hundreds of people turned out for the first day of vaccinations at the Centre, which played an important role in the initial drive to deliver First and Second vaccinations.

The Foyle Arena is now open to walk-ins and bookings from 9am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 5pm on Sundays.

Mayor Warke joined them to receive his booster jab, and said he was impressed by the swift organisation of the effort and the professionalism of staff on site.

He said: “This is a rapidly changing situation and I am extremely impressed at how these measures have been so quickly put in place to meet demand. I want to acknowledge the work of the Western Trust staff who are doing such an amazing job in very challenging circumstances.

“I also want to thank all the staff at the Foyle Arena, and previously at Templemore, who are playing a vital role in this effort.

“The Trust are aiming to vaccinate 1000 people a day at the Foyle and I would appeal to everyone attending to please follow the advice of the professionals and let's do all we can to get as many people as possible protected in the weeks ahead.”

The campaign is expected to continue until January and to safely accommodate the numbers of visitors to the centre Members of Foyle Arena, there will be some minor impacts to services over the coming weeks, though most will continue as normal.

This includes changes to studio class timetables, and alternative temporary arrangements are now in place for Members, with a wide range of leisure services also available across other Council owned leisure Centres.

Director of Health and Community with Council, Karen McFarland added: “There has been a speedy response to the recent developments in the Covid pandemic, and we were happy to be able to step up once again to provide much needed facilities to help progress the Trust's Vaccination Campaign.

“Measures have been put in place to mitigate any impacts and while most of our leisure services will continue as normal, there may be some disruption to some activities which we will communicate directly to our members.

“This is a short term campaign, and I really appreciate everyone's patience as we assist in getting vaccinations to those who need them.

“With high volumes of people expected to attend I would appeal to people to please follow the guidance at the centre and the directions of staff – they are there to help keep things running smoothly.

“The safety of our staff and the public is our first priority and I would ask for everyone's cooperation over the coming weeks.”

With the volume of people accessing the Foyle Arena, additional parking is available for members at Clooney Park West playing fields.

To find out more about leisure services available across all Council sites, and any changes to timetables please go to: derrystrabaneleisure.com

The Western Trust this week issued an appeal to staff to help in the escalated operation as vaccinators.

People are being encouraged to use the booking system as the number of walk-ins that can be accommodated will be limited.

Vaccinations are also available from GP surgeries and local pharmacists.

Over 12s who have yet to get their first dose of the vaccination can also receive it at the vaccination centres.

For further information and to book please visit the Western Trust website: westerntrust.hscni.net/western-trust-covid-19-information-updates/covid-19-vaccination-programme/

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