Dáil debates

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation


12:30 pm

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour) | Oireachtas source

I wish the Ceann Comhairle and his family a happy Christmas. His innate patience entitles him to a very good present from Santa Claus this year.

I will ask about the vaccination roll-out programme. The Minister of State, Deputy Feighan, in responding to me last week when I asked him to consider establishing a community vaccination and testing centre in Drogheda, seemed to agree with me but it seems the HSE, naturally, does not think the town of Drogheda, the largest town in the country, should have a vaccination centre when it should. The Tánaiste will know there were massive queues, for example, in Simonstown vaccination centre in Navan, which is half an hour away from Drogheda, last Sunday. Many people from the Drogheda area went to that centre, which covers an area with a population in excess of 100,000 people. It created queues of up to five hours.

As the Tánaiste knows, Drogheda is Ireland's largest town. He visited it a couple of weeks ago for a very important jobs announcement. I ask him to back our calls and advocate for a centre for Drogheda. The 50 to 59 age cohort is particularly affected as many of them in the area were vaccinated late in the summer after others in the 50 to 59 age cohort. Those people in Drogheda got the Janssen vaccine, and we know its efficacy waned very quickly. The Minister for Health, Deputy Donnelly, announced plans last night to boost the vaccination programme, if I can use that term, but I noticed he did not include Drogheda on the list of new vaccination centres. He needs to do so in the interests of that cohort and the national roll-out of the vaccination programme. The area is entitled to it given its size and scale. I would appreciate it if the Tánaiste would engage with the HSE in that regard.


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