Questions remain on vaccination plan
Labour Party Leader and Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said that additional questions remain unanswered following the publication of the Covid-19 Vaccination Implementation Plan.
Deputy Kelly said:
“We all know that the Covid-19 Vaccine implementation plan is a living document with many moving parts but we need clear answers on the administration of the vaccine nationwide, staffing infrastructures associated with the vaccine, the IT system that will be associated with the vaccine rollout and ensuring the public have clear and factual information at their disposal.
“One of the key questions that must be answered is who is classed as a key worker in line to be one of the first groups to receive the vaccine. It is very strange that teachers, SNAs and childcare workers are not categorised as key workers. This needs to be sorted to ease the minds of those who are working in our school settings every day.
“We need to see a clear plan for ensuring that the vaccine is administrated in a timely way across the country. It is clear from the documentation available that there will be plenty of places available in large urban centres through mass vaccination centres. We cannot have a repeat of what happened with the flu vaccination rollout this year where pharmacies and GPs in remote locations did not receive the right amount of doses of the vaccine. We need to be assured that areas of the country that don’t have large scale health sites will have access to the vaccine.
“For years we have had a deficit of nursing staff in our acute medical settings across the country. The hiring of nurses Is not moving at the pace it should be. The rollout of the vaccine drawing closer should hammer home to Government that we need to fill nursing staff to the level required
“There will obviously be concerns around the introduction of a new IT system in our health service, which will be brought in at a fast pace. We need to ensure there is proper oversight of the data collected, who has access to it and how it will be managed.
“Citizens will have legitimate questions – we need to have a large-scale public information campaign to distil any worries people may have about the vaccine. We know dangerous myths circulate on social media, we need to see the many social media companies that have large bases here in Ireland take up the mantle and do the right thing to challenge the rumours and inaccurate information.”