Getting Ireland's Adults Covid-Vaccination Ready

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Public Lecture: Getting Ireland's Adults COVID-Vaccination Ready
17th February 2021
Recording is now available
Organised by: 
Irish Gerontological Society

Recording of this event:

This was a free public event hosted by the Irish Gerontological Society, registered charity no. 18858.  Will you support our work with a contribution? If you would like to make a donation, please click here now.


The impact of COVID-19 on the physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing of older people has been devastating and will be long-lasting. 


​Your backing means that we can continue to bring new, useable, research-based knowledge to the fore. In particular, delivering this support to those professionals who are best placed to translate emerging research evidence into improved practices and policies for older people.



Public Lecture

Irish Gerontological Society


Getting Ireland's Adults COVID-Vaccination Ready

Wednesday, February 17th 2021     3.00 - 4.15 p.m.

@irishgerontsoc      #igsc19


There is no charge for IGS Public Lectures but donations to support our work are appreciated

Please click on this link to make a donation



Maximising the impact of vaccine effectiveness in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic will be a key element in reducing the susceptibility of older adults to COVID-19.  Any health behaviours which will boost immunity, and in particular the immune response to the SAR2CoV vaccine, are very important.

As vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 is rolled out, it is important that learnings from previous vaccination programmes among older adults are used to maximise immune system responses.

Prof Luke O’Neill will discuss factors which influence choice of COVID-19 vaccines.

Prof Rose Anne Kenny will present evidence for behaviours and supplements which boost antibody responsiveness following vaccination.

The lecture will be co-chaired by Ms Olivia O'Leary, Journalist,  and Dr Diarmuid O'SheaConsultant Geriatrician

Panellists: Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer HSE; Dr Siobhán Kennelly, National Clinical and Advisory Group Lead for Older Persons (HSE); Prof Rose Galvin, Physiotherapist; Ms Deirdre Lang, Director of Nursing Older Persons Services (HSE). 

The panel will contribute towards addressing issues raised and questions posed by the audience.   However, it may not be possible to answer all questions we receive.


The contents of this online IGS public lecture - such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained in the webinar lecture and panel discussion - are for your information only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis,  interpretation or treatment.

You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you hear in this IGS webinar.

The IGS recommends that you refer to, and follow the guidelines of, official sources of COVID_19 information in Ireland such as these:


Rose Anne Kenny is Professor of Medical Gerontology and Head of the academic department of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin. She is the present President of the IGS. She is also director of the recently established Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) at St. James’s Hospital Dublin, which is a state of the art facility hosting ambulatory care, inpatients, education and research facilities for older adults. She is the founding Principal Investigator of Ireland’s largest adult population study on the experience of ageing– for The Irish LongituDinal study on Ageing  (TILDA). She has a high international standing for her research on ageing ranked in the top 5% of geriatric medicine publications.

Luke O’Neill is Professor of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He is a world expert on innate immunity and inflammation. He is listed by Thompson Reuters/ Clarivates in the top 1% of immunologists in the world and is a popular science communicator. A company he co-founded, Inflazome was recently acquired by Roche. His latest book, published by Gill is called ‘Never Mind the B#ll*cks Here’s the Science’.


Ms Olivia O’Leary has presented current affairs programmes for the last three decades for both RTE and the British Channels, BBC and ITV.  As a print journalist, she has written about politics for both ‘the Sunday Tribune’ and ‘The Irish Times’.  She is the presenter of RTE Radio 1’s ‘The Poetry Programme’.


Diarmuid O’Shea is a Consultant Physician in Geriatric Medicine in St Vincent’s University Hospital and Registrar of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI).  He is a UCD medical graduate.  He was Clinical Lead for the National Clinical Programme for Older People with the HSE until 2019 and Chair of the Irish Committee on Higher Medical Training from 2017 to 2019.  He has held the position of Vice-President of Education and Professional Development in the RCPI and acted as the Masterclass Series Convenor in the RCPI since its inception in 2007.  He is immediate past president of the Irish Gerontological Society.



Dr Colm Henry commenced in the role of Chief Clinical Officer in the Health Service Executive (HSE) in April 2018.  As Chief Clinical Officer, he is responsible for ensuring that clinical leadership, encompassing medical, nursing and midwifery, health & social care professions is represented at the most senior level of the HSE.

The role and Office of the CCO harnesses this clinical leadership and expertise to develop and nurture collaboration with patients and service users, create a culture of patient safety, and improve the patient-user experience. The Chief Clinical Officer collaborates with the HSE’s Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Operations Officer and other national directors and senior leaders across the health services to ensure evidence-based, clinically informed decision-making in line with identified priorities.


Prof Rose Galvin is an Associate Professor in Physiotherapy at the University of Limerick. She has a long-standing interest in applied health research in ageing, reflecting her professional background in physiotherapy and her post-doctoral training in applied clinical epidemiology. She is a recipient of a Health Research Board 2020 Research Leader Award and a founding member of the Ageing Research Centre at UL. Currently Vice President of the Irish Gerontological Society, Rose has a long-standing relationship with the IGS since she attended her first IGS conference almost 20 years ago!


Dr Siobhán Kennelly is a Consultant Geriatrician in Connolly Hospital and she is currently the National Clinical & Advisory Group Lead for Older Persons in the HSE


Ms Deirdre Lang, Director of Nursing/National Lead Older Persons Services/Clinical & Integrated Programmes, Office of Nursing & Midwifery Services Director. RGN, Scottish Quality & Safety Fellow (Cohort 10), FFNMRCSI, MSc Leadership, BNS (Hons), Dip Mgt, HDip Gerontological Nursing, HETAC level 6 Special award in coaching. Deirdre initially trained in St Vincent’s Hospital, Elm Park, as a Registered General Nurse. During the early part of her career, she spent a number of years working in acute services both in Australia and in Ireland. She has had a variety of experiences in healthcare, having worked in mental health nursing and in practice development. Her experience in Older Persons Services includes the role of Clinical Nurse Manager 2, Assistant Director of Nursing and Director of Nursing both in the HSE and private sector. Her role as Director of Nursing Older Persons Services brings together all aspects of her experience to date, together with her passion for the older patient and those who provide their care. Her approach to life is Henry Fords “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t ………you are right”.  Deirdre is a member of the National Executive Committee of the Irish Gerontological Society.


Due to priorities dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme, speakers and panel may be subject to change any time before this event. 

This page will be updated at the earliest opportunity in the event of any such changes