Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Health

Vaccination Programme

Patrick Costello (Dublin South Central, Green Party)
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333. To ask the Minister for Health the steps being taken to ensure vaccinations carried out by private hospitals are in keeping with HSE protocols. [17802/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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334. To ask the Minister for Health if he will consider the request of an organisation and persons (details supplied) for cardiac patients to be given priority access to the vaccine reflecting the medical need; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17804/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy sets out a provisional list of groups for vaccination. The Strategy was developed by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and my Department , endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020.

On the 23rdof February, 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.

On the 30thof March, the Government approved a further update to the COVID-19 Vaccination Allocation Strategy. Based on clinical, scientific and ethical frameworks produced by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee and the Department of Health, following the vaccination of those most at risk, future groups will be vaccinated by age, in cohorts of 10 years (i.e., 64-55; 54-45, etc.).

The move to an age-based model better supports the programme objectives by:

- protecting those at highest risk of severe disease first, which benefits everyone most;

- facilitating planning and execution of the programme across the entire country;

- improving transparency and fairness.

Further details are available here:

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