HSE must act to get Covid-19 vaccines to patients of small rural practices

Leitrim Observer reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer reporter

Email:

editor@leitrimobserver.ie

Covid-19 vaccinations will begin at St Columbcille Village

COVID-19 Vaccine

Fianna Fáil County Councillor, John Paul Feeley has called on the HSE to act urgently to provide vaccines to patients in small rural practices who have not yet received their long awaited and much needed Covid-19 inoculation.

‘I received a number of queries from family members of people in the over-80 and over 70 categories over the past few days. Initially I thought perhaps it was an issue within a practice, but I was subsequently contacted by a GP in a small practice who confirmed that he has yet to receive a single Covid-19 vaccine.’

The Irish Medical Organisation have been involved in coordinating the rollout. Practices with small numbers in the various cohorts have been asked to ‘buddy-up’ with another practice. In one such case the combined numbers in the two practices did not reach the threshold set out by the IMO.

‘At this stage there seems to be nothing but bureaucracy stopping these patients accessing vaccines. The normal rules that cold chain delivery of vaccines will only issue from the HSE every 10 days is still applied, despite the national emergency in which we are all operating.’

‘I am told that at this stage the patients in these and presumably other practices are about four weeks behind the rest of the country. I have contacted officials locally and nationally in the HSE and have asked Deputy Brendan Smith to do likewise. These patients and their families are entitled to the peace of mind that the Covid-19 vaccine can give. They, like patients of other larger practices have endured cocooning, isolation and worry, they are entitled to the same treatment also. Action is needed urgently.