Dáil debates

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Vaccination Programme and Covid-19: Statements


10:50 am

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

There is some good news to report on an issue I raised with the Minister in the recent past. The HSE has decided to have a vaccination centre in Drogheda, the largest town in the country, where I live. That is welcome and any support the Minister can give through his office to ensure the centre is staffed with enough vaccinators to vaccinate the population as the vaccines come through would be very welcome. Four premises have been looked at and a decision is imminent. It is important to say that to the Minister.

It is also important for the Minister to understand that the people to whom I speak understand he is not hiding vaccines from the public in his office or Department. As I understand it, every vaccine the Department gets is delivered as soon as possible. However, we are at the mercy of the European Union with regard to vaccine availability. Notwithstanding that, there is professional integrity to what the HSE is doing but there was no integrity in the actions of private hospitals and private schools. I get a stink from their actions. They are looking after each other in the old-fashioned way of 200 years ago. It is not acceptable. The Minister should come down on that hospital and the Minister for Education should come down on that school like a ton of bricks. It goes to the heart of our society. There was no equality or fairness in what happened.

There are two people in my constituency with serious illnesses and who are in the very high-risk category. One has an obesity of 45% and the other has type 1 diabetes and suffers from Addison's disease. Their doctor cannot get them a vaccination timetable because they do not have a hospital consultant. Will the Minister address that issues in his reply to me?


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