Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called for improvement on communications, transparency, and data publication to raise confidence in the vaccine rollout.
The Waterford TD also called for issues with deliveries to GPs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“There is a lot of concern in many communities that GPs are not getting vaccines delivered on time.
“This needs to be addressed urgently, as the rollout is now lagging behind in some parts of the country.
“There are also wider concerns on the speed of the rollout caused by delivery delays.
“It is welcome that the first group of people with medical conditions is to begin next week. The prioritisation of this group is something we had called for, but concern remains for carers.
“In particular, carers of children with underlying conditions are very worried as children are not being vaccinated yet.
“GPs and NAS will also now begin administering at home for those who are housebound, which is welcome.
“The Minister needs to be more proactive in addressing supply-side constraints. Denmark and Austria are the latest EU states to look at procurement outside of the EU process.
“Denmark and Finland have hit 9% of their population vaccinated, and we are at 6%. The Minister needs to put the systems in place for us to catch up with leading EU states.
“We need to learn the lessons quickly if we are to ramp up to 250,000 or more a week.
“A successful vaccine rollout is the route out of this crisis and the only source of hope for people. The reporting of deliveries, storage, and administration needs to be enhanced.
“We are still not receiving enough information on deliveries, the number of vaccines received, the number in storage, and the weekly targets.
“We are still lacking details on the staffing for mass vaccination centres, when they will be in place and when they will be operational.
“This does not inspire confidence that we will be able to ramp up to 250,000 a week in less than a month.
“The absence of this transparency is problematic and urgent improvement is needed.”