Dáil debates

Friday, 3 December 2021

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Vaccination Programme

11:50 am

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I will caveat my response. I do not think anybody expected to get to Question No. 117, so the note I have does not include everything I would like. I will therefore go from memory, so if some of these figures are off, I apologise ahead of time.

Between boosters and third doses for the immunocompromised, approximately 900,000 vaccines have been administered at this stage. The highest priority groups were nursing homes and other long-term residential care residents, those over the age of 80 and those who are immunocompromised. They have been either substantially done at this point or have been offered appointments for boosters or third doses. The next group is healthcare workers and those in their 70s. Approximately a little over two thirds of healthcare workers and a little over two thirds of those in their 70s have now had their boosters, and many more have been scheduled. That is moving very quickly. The next groups are those in their 60s. One group I asked the HSE to accelerate vaccinations for was those who have underlying health conditions. These comprise the vast majority of people in ICU, Covid patients or people with underlying conditions. Good progress is being made on those in their 60s, and there are walk-in clinics this week. There are walk-in clinics for healthcare workers as well in the vaccine centres. Those with underlying conditions have started this week and, to begin with, they are being contacted. What I am talking to the HSE about now is whether we can expand access to those with underlying conditions, for example, by walking into a pharmacy or contacting a GP, who may well have given them the vaccine last time, or by having walk-in centres for those with underlying conditions. We are moving through those as quickly as we can. The next group is those in their 50s. I am advised that the plan for them is to start in approximately two weeks, so mid-December is the provisional date for that group.


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