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Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Mary Butler: Regarding respite, and the Deputy raised this issue with me last week, I have sought a comprehensive report on this issue in the Galway area. Respite is happening in other areas and I will furnish that information to the Deputy as soon as I get it. I have answered the question regarding the day care centres. Work is under way and the task force is in place, but it must be safe to do so....

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Catherine Connolly: I understand that, and I understand that the Minister of State is doing her best. We are, however, talking here about minimum prices for alcohol and other things that are irrelevant now. Government effort should be going into identifying vulnerable groups and essential services and restoring them as a matter of priority. That is what I am asking the Minister of State. I welcome the fact...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Frank Feighan: I am happy to inform the Deputy that the Janssen single-shot vaccine was administered today to prioritised groups of medically vulnerable people living in homelessness services in Dublin. This group includes people with specific underlying conditions. There are more than 700 medically vulnerable people in homelessness services, and approximately 350 of them are due to receive the vaccine...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Cormac Devlin: I thank the Ministers of State for those updates. The news about the day care centres is particularly welcome. Many people and staff do not know when they will be reopening so it will be great to get that information as soon as that subcommittee reports. I thank the Minister of State, Deputy Feighan, for that update. No doubt it is very welcome that cohort is being vaccinated. There...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Stephen Donnelly: A pilot scheme is being rolled out for the ICT system and portal for pharmacists. I have taken this up with the HSE on numerous occasions, including this week. I believe there is a role for pharmacists to play in the vaccination roll-out. That is why we put a deal in place with the Irish Pharmacy Union, IPU, at the start of this process. To date, the people running the programme have said...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Mattie McGrath: I would like written answers from the Minister. Why are the HSE and the Department of Health not collating figures on the numbers of people with delayed diagnoses of cancer or misdiagnoses? There are 38,000 people waiting for colonoscopies alone and many of their diagnoses have been delayed. Student nurses were forced to take the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Taoiseach told the Dáil...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Michael Collins: I have been asking these questions for the past three weeks and I have not got any answers. The Minister promised me two weeks ago he would furnish me with answers. People over 65 who have a family history of clotting are worried about taking the AstraZeneca vaccine. Some tell me they are so worried they cannot even sleep. They are worried because the Tánaiste said that anyone who...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Richard O'Donoghue: I am still baffled that there is no Limerick venue for the roll-out of the vaccine. We heard today about the Radisson hotel and how dangerous it is for people who do not have transport to cross that motorway to get to it. I highlighted this concern months ago. There are people travelling from Limerick to Clonmel, Mallow, Cork, Clare and Kerry for vaccines. We offered the Government...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Stephen Donnelly: I thank Deputy Murphy for all of those points. On her last point, I am aware, as we all are, many people are resident in Ireland or want to come or return to Ireland. Twelve vaccines are being used for Covid-19 around the world and the European Medicines Agency, EMA, has authorised four of them. The exemption from hotel quarantine is only for those four vaccines. That is the public health...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl: Thank you, Minister. We have to move on. I am not being awkward but I suggest you correspond with Deputy Murphy to respond to her outstanding questions. Deputy Devlin is sharing with colleagues.

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Cormac Devlin: It is just me. Tonight's figures remind us of the need for vigilance, with 393 new cases and, sadly, eight further deaths. I acknowledge the great efforts by everybody involved in this national effort, especially our front-line healthcare workers. The vaccination programme is certainly picking up pace. It is encouraging to see 1.7 million vaccinations have been administered, with...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Stephen Donnelly: I thank Deputy Devlin for his kind words. With regard to when people are deemed to be fully vaccinated, we will redouble our efforts on that. It is important the message gets out that, for example, people who are being vaccinated with AstraZeneca do not need to wait the 12 or 16 weeks and then plus two after their second dose, rather a number of weeks after the first dose and it is...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Cormac Devlin: The Minister for Health might come back to me on whether the pharmacists will begin from next week in their vaccination programme and whether other agencies such as the Tropical Medical Bureau will be involved or considered. A number of special needs assistants, SNAs, teachers and carers have been in contact with me. They accept the new age-based vaccination roll-out but wonder if...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Mary Butler: I thank Deputy Devlin for his important question. As we know, day care centres and services have been closed since March 2020. It is a key priority for me, working with the HSE and the Department, to ensure services for older people can open as soon as it is safe to do so. As Deputy Devlin has quite rightly said, the vaccination programme has been rolled out to persons over 70 years of age...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Stephen Donnelly: I thank Deputy O'Rourke for his questions. In respect of a pilot for rapid testing, I commissioned a report on it and I support its findings. The Deputy will be aware that there are strongly-held views among highly reputable, well-informed people on both sides. Some people like Professor Ferguson believe there is a very substantial role for rapid testing to play while others believe there...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl: I am sorry to interrupt but we are running out of time. Deputy Canney is next.

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Seán Canney: I was lucky enough to get a call to get my vaccination last Monday in the racecourse in Galway and I must say the operation that was being run there was absolutely phenomenal. There were no queues and everybody was vaccinated and out again within 30 minutes. I want to put on the record my appreciation for the work that is being done across the country in all of the vaccination centres. The...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Anne Rabbitte: I will take those questions if I may. I thank Deputy Canney for raising these matters. I will take his last question first. He is quite right in what he has said about primary medical certificates. There was very little movement on them up to last December and into January. I met the primary medical certificate team myself two months ago. In the past two months, 471 assessments have...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Verona Murphy: I have three questions for the Minister today. The first relates to persons in category four. We need a clearer outline of how people in this category are to be notified about their vaccination. I am hearing about a lot of complicated scenarios, whereby consultants have told patients it is the responsibility of their GP but the GP has no knowledge and people are getting confused. We do...

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (6 May 2021)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl: Do we want to hear Deputy O'Donnell or go for a response?

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