News & Media

Minister Donnelly must explain why he made changes to vaccine plan that leaves front line Covid facing staff behind

15 January 2021

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Health and Disability Services
  • Minister for Health must communicate why this is happening.
  • Minister Donnelly must explain why he made changes to the Vaccine Roll Out Plan
  • Covid facing frontline workers are struggling to treat patients and need vaccination.

With more and more examples of frontline healthcare staff being left behind during the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations, Labour Party Leader and Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD has called for an explanation from the Minister for Health about why our public sector heroes treating Covid-19 patients haven’t received a shot yet, when it has been rolled out in three private institutions.

Deputy Kelly said:

“It is disgraceful that Covid facing staff in hospitals like Nenagh Hospital, doctors and nurses who are dealing with a high volume of Covid-19 patients have yet to receive the vaccine and have been given no indication as to when it will be administered in their hospital.

“I have spoken to many staff in the last 24 hours in hospitals around the country who are horrified to see that staff in at least three private institutions in Dublin who are not dealing with Covid-19 patients have received the vaccine, yet staff who are under so much pressure in the Midwest don’t know when they will receive the vaccine.

“Many Covid-facing staff in hospitals such as University Hospital Limerick, the Mater and Clontarf Hospital have yet to be vaccinated. They don’t know why as they’re not being communicated with properly.

“Many questions must be answered about the haphazard way in which this vaccine has been rolled out to hospital groups. Why is it that a deal was allowed to be made to vaccinate workers who aren’t even dealing with Covid patients when hospitals that have seen their staffing rosters decimated because of Covid have not even got a look in?

“The Minister for Health needs to address why we have seen so many policy shifts in the rollout of this vaccine, why key staff outside of Dublin aren’t being vaccinated and why it is that staff in hospitals such as Nenagh Hospital have to literally beg Government to get the vaccine. This is so wrong.

“The Taoiseach, Minister Donnelly and senior management within the HSE are all aware of my views on this issue and they must take action to ensure frontline workers who are treating Covid patients at the height of this crisis are vaccinated.

“Our frontline staff who are treating Covid patients in our hospitals have given so much, and put themselves and their families at enormous risk in the last ten months. For them to now not even know when they are getting their vaccine is disgraceful.”