AIT Designated a National Hub for COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

The AIT International Arena is one of 37 sites chosen for the mass vaccination programme.

Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) is to facilitate mass vaccinations on campus as part of the Government’s new COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The institute’s indoor athletics arena is one of 37 locations nationally to have been chosen to support the rollout of the COVID vaccine to the public. 

While currently vaccines are being administered in healthcare settings, people will soon be offered their vaccination in these designated centres, having self-registered online.

In a statement, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that the centres would be ready “well in advance of vaccine supply” and that people could expect to see these vaccination centres “ready and waiting” in their respective counties.

“In the coming months supply will increase substantially, and we will see these centres operating to full capacity and administering vaccines to the general population, following the government priority list,” he explained.

AIT President Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin said that AIT was proud to support the HSE in the implementation of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.

“The five research arms of our institute have been engaged in the fight against COVID since the beginning of the pandemic, as have many of our staff who were redeployed to help with tracing and testing.

“Now, we have answered the call to act as a designated centre for Ireland’s mass vaccination programme. We are proud to support the HSE in this endeavour by providing the AIT International Arena as a venue for the safe and efficient vaccination of our community."

Last year, more than 160 AIT staff volunteered to help the HSE fight COVID-19, including nursing staff who were working on the frontlines.

AIT scientists also provided essential services in terms of analytical testing and processing for frontline companies working to produce PPE, ventilators and medical device equipment.

A second vaccination centre has been earmarked for Co. Westmeath at the Bloomfield House Hotel in Mullingar.

Athlone Institute of Technology is a research-led third-level institute with an applied, industry-focused offering, world-class research and development capabilities, and state-of-the-art facilities. Winner of The Sunday Times Institute of the Year 2020 and 2018, AIT is Ireland’s top-ranked institute of technology and is on track to open its doors as the country’s third technological university in September 2021. AIT tops Ireland’s official league table for research and was listed in U-Multirank’s Top 25 Performing Universities in the World for Interdisciplinary Research in 2018 and 2019. For information relating to the institute’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, visit www.ait.ie

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