Thursday, 1 April 2021
Vaccination Programme and Covid-19: Statements
I thank the Deputy for the question. Those who are housebound are an absolute priority for us. We are talking about people who are very vulnerable and who, as the Deputy says, are often elderly. It is essential that they be protected as quickly as possible. The National Ambulance Service is working very hard to this end. It is moving through the country. The people the Deputy is talking about are being identified by their GPs and the data are being fed to the National Ambulance Service, which is contacting the relevant households, making arrangements and going to see the individuals in question.
I was talking to one of the National Ambulance Service managers the other day on this exact issue. I commend the service. One of the things the manager said to me in passing was that while the ambulance service staff go to the houses in question primarily to deliver the vaccines, they also spot issues and identify opportunities to make things a little better and connect the individuals with local health and social care services. I share the Deputy's view. It is essential that we vaccinate the cohort as quickly as possible. The National Ambulance Service is engaging as quickly as it can with the cohort.