Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane has said that any reconfiguration of the vaccine allocation groups should reflect the place of family carers and the needs of people who must undergo treatment or urgent procedures.
The Health Committee has agreed to write to the National Immunisation Advisory Committee on the matter. Teachta Cullinane said that there is also outstanding detail on mass vaccination centres that need clarification.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“Any reconfiguration of the vaccine allocation groups should reflect the place of family carers in society and their needs.
“They are frontline healthcare workers and deserve that recognition in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.
“The reconfiguration should also reflect the needs of people with medical conditions who must undergo treatment or urgent procedures.
“Many patients and their doctors are concerned by the risk presented to people needing to undergo a procedure or make frequent visits to hospitals to collect medication.
“There are many vulnerable people who are at greater risk due to needing to travel to hospitals or other healthcare facilities for urgent medical reasons.
“The rollout plan needs to recognise that some may need vaccination at a certain point in their treatment cycle, others might be at a severely high risk and there may be a need for prioritising more on individual risk profiles.
“There needs to be room for considerations such as this for senior medical officials overseeing the operations of the rollout.
“The Health Committee has unanimously agreed to write to the National Immunisation Advisory Committee on the matter, in particular on family carers.
“There are also outstanding concerns regarding mass vaccination centres – the spread in some counties is insufficient, some venues are unconfirmed, and we do not know what staffing requirements will be.
“These were issues we knew we needed answers to many months ago yet it remains very unclear at this late stage.”