Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has said that the HSE’s announcement that it will not use the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for over 70s is a serious set-back for the vaccine rollout.
He said it presents serious challenges for the rollout in the community.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The announcement by the HSE that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will not be used for over 70s present challenges for the vaccine rollout.
“It is a major setback as this vaccine is far easier to store. This will present logistical challenges for GPs who are expected to rollout the vaccine in the community.
“The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine uses the same storage system as the flu vaccine, but the mRNA vaccines do not.
“This will have consequences for targets and the speed and efficiency of the rollout.
“We do not know how long it will take to vaccinate over 70s without the AstraZeneca vaccine, and there is no sense now what the strategy is or the timeframes.
“The Minister needs to set out clear revised targets and provide certainty on how this will be rolled out practically through GPs.”