Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Department of Health
1624. To ask the Minister for Health the number of patients who were referred to hospital, sent to an isolation facility and that were sent home, respectively, having been assessed in a community hub; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14854/21]
1625. To ask the Minister for Health if information is available on the types of non-Covid-19 conditions that have been treated at community assessment hubs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14855/21]
1626. To ask the Minister for Health if consideration is being given to reprioritising An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces in the vaccine allocation strategy for the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14856/21]
On the 23rdof February 2021, I announced an update to Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy.
In comprising the initial Vaccine Allocation Strategy, the NIAC listed several conditions associated with increased risk of severe disease and death. In the intervening period, national and international evidence has become available which has enabled a more detailed analysis of underlying conditions that may increase the risk of developing severe disease or death.
The NIAC has now been able to more comprehensively identify those medical conditions and to distinguish between those which place a person at very high or high risk of severe disease if they contract the virus. Medical conditions and the magnitude of the risk they pose will continue to be monitored and periodically reviewed.
The NIAC continues to monitor data around this disease and indeed emerging data on effectiveness of vaccines on a rolling basis. Further details are available at the following link:
The next cohort to be vaccinated (Cohort 4) are those aged 16-69 and at very high risk of severe illness and death. Vaccination of this group began in March.
The ongoing review process will continue to look at the other priority groups yet to be vaccinated, along with the competing needs of those working or living in high-risk situations, carers who deliver essential services to highly dependent individuals in the home setting, and those who are socially vulnerable/disadvantaged.
It is important to emphasise that vaccination is only one part of our response to the prevention of COVID-19 infection. People who are vaccinated need to continue with all the public health measures that have been proven to reduce the risk of infection, i.e., limiting our social contacts, physical distancing, wearing a mask, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and avoiding non-essential travel until a sufficiently large proportion of the population are immune.