Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane has expressed concern at the drop in the quarter one vaccine delivery target from 1.7m to 1.1m. He has called on the HSE to be more transparent about incidents of delay on the supply side, and to publish details of complications with delivery to GPs.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The original delivery target of 1.7m from the advance purchase agreements will not be met, and we know this is largely due to AstraZeneca’s false promises.
“This was down to 1.4m before dropping again down to 1.2m.
“That now stands are 1.1m, and it is unlikely that these doses will be administered until the second week of April. This will miss the end of March target.
“The HSE have changed their operational plan upwards of 15 times but were unable to say how many times we have been left short on vaccine delivery.
“There also does not seem to have been proactive contact with the vaccine producers.
“There is a need for clarity and transparency here, and there needs to be regular proactive contact with vaccine producers to maximise our supply.
“There are also issues with deliveries to GPs, which does not bode well for ramping up vaccinations.
“One GP I spoke with received a box of leaflets, not vaccines. I am concerned that this data is not being collected.
“The lack of an integrated patient database and modern IT system will also be a serious barrier to ramping up the vaccination rollout.
“Very busy doctors manually going through records to locate qualifying people with medical conditions is consuming a huge amount of time and resources.
“This is due to a history of underfunding in the health service.
“The HSE have said this is a matter for the Department. The Minister has the responsibility for being proactive and cannot pass the buck.
“We need to know who is engaging with pharmaceutical companies, how many missed shipments there have been, and how many missed or late deliveries there have been to GPs administering the vaccine.”