27th October 2021
As Director of Public Health in the HSE North East Department of Public Health, covering the four counties of Cavan, Monaghan, Louth & Meath, I am reaching out to each of you in the Public Participation Networks to ask for your support and feedback in our efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination uptake rates in your community.
The national COVID-19 case numbers are rising yet again and our Department has seen a significant increase in the North East counties during the past week. We have also noticed that the vaccination uptake rates in many of the Local Electoral Areas (LEAs) within our four counties are lower than the national average. Please see table in appendix for current uptake rates.
COVID-19 vaccination is a safe and effective measure we can all take in order to protect ourselves and others from severe infection, hospitalisation, and even death. The HSE North East Department of Public Health, Community Health, Social Inclusion, and the four County Councils are urging people, to come forward to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, in an effort to improve vaccination uptake in the region.
The North East Department of Public Health is working on a number of strategies to improve COVID-19 vaccination uptake rates in the region. In addition to the media campaigns, examples of initiatives undertaken so far in our region include: providing information sessions in a range of workplaces and Direct Provision Centres, providing signposts to translated information in 38 different languages, targeted social media campaigns, pop-up vaccination centres and dedicated vaccination clinics for hard to reach communities.
There are links attached to this letter with information in different formats about COVID-19 vaccination. I encourage you to use them to give people accurate information and to promote vaccination uptake.
We understand that people have many different reasons for not yet availing of the COVID-19 vaccine. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with your community members, to provide them with a clear authoritative source of information about vaccines and to offer them a forum where they can ask questions, so that we can understand their concerns and address them. I would be grateful if you could let us know if this would be beneficial and feasible.
In addition, if any of your community members would like to support us in this work by being a “Vaccine Champion” – someone who would be happy to discuss their experiences with getting the vaccine and why they think it is important, we would be delighted to assist them in getting their message out.
We would really appreciate any support you have to offer, and look forward to hearing your feedback. If you have any questions in relation to the vaccines or in relation to the proposed engagement, please email the Department of Public Health HSE North East – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on the COVID-19 Vaccine:
COVID-19 vaccine resources and information have been translated into 38 different languages. To access translated COVID-19 information, visit: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/covid-19-resources-and-translations/translated-covid19-information/
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at various locations across the region, including participating pharmacies. We enclose a poster highlighting where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine, which you might find useful to share with community members.
In addition, updates on walk-in vaccination clinics and more information about COVID-19 vaccines are available. For more information about:
- Participating pharmacies, visit: https://www2.hse.ie/apps/services/pharmaciesservicelist.aspx
- Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics, visit: https://www2.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/covid-19-vaccine/get-the-vaccine/find-a-covid-19-vaccination-centre/
We know that COVID-19 vaccines save lives. We also understand that vaccines require trust, transparency and accountability. We are committed to making sure you feel safe and supported.
If you have a question about COVID-19 vaccines, we are here to help. You can contact your doctor, pharmacist or call HSELive: Freephone 1800 700 700 or 01 240 8787 – open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday or tweet:@HSELive.
Together, we can turn the tide against COVID-19 and build a stronger, healthier future.
Dr Augustine Pereira
Director of Public Health,
HSE North East