Monday, 29 March 2021
Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements
Garret Ahearn (Fine Gael)
Absolutely everything the Senator said was wrong. She criticised his performance even though hospital numbers have dropped from more than 2,000 in January to 331 today. It is a disgrace that the Senator can be critical of the Minister when the figures have dropped by that much due to the decisions he made and on the back of the work and commitment of the people. I agree with everything Senator Chambers said.
On the vaccination centres, there is one open in Clonmel and I commend the work done there by all the nurses and people involved. It was set up in Clonmel Park Hotel, there are vaccinations going on at the moment and it is doing wonderful work. There is another centre in Nenagh. We are quite lucky in having two in Tipperary but it is a large, long county and they are doing extremely good work. The over-70s are being vaccinated by general practitioners, GPs, but, after that cohort, can the Minister outline exactly who will be vaccinated in vaccination centres and who by GPs?
The GPs have done fantastic work. In my home town of Cahir they vaccinated 400 or 500 on St. Patrick's Day. They are now vaccinating those aged 70 to 75 and have really ramped it up in the last number of weeks. It is a credit to the work they are doing there. My father received his first vaccination and it is a celebration when anyone gets it. It is really welcome. Any of the rubbish the Minister has listened to is not the way it is on the ground.
On the Beacon issue, it is disappointing but the Minister has acted swiftly which is really important. Are there any other cases the Minister is aware of that have happened since, as they are just not acceptable?