Coombe medic brought Covid-19 vaccines home for family, review finds

Coombe Medic Brought Covid-19 Vaccines Home For Family, Review Finds
The review was carried out after 16 family members of staff received leftover doses on January 8th. Photo: PA Images.
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Covid-19 vaccine doses were taken home from a hospital by a medical consultant in order to vaccinate family members, an independent review has found.

The review of vaccinations at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin was carried out after 16 family members of staff received leftover doses on January 8th.


The Irish Times reports that the report by lawyer Brian Kennedy SC, carried out on the request of the board of the Coombe and published on Thursday, found that the master of the hospital was aware of the consultant bringing doses home.

A doctor, identified in the report as “Consultant B”, took two vaccine doses home and administered them to two family members after a conversation at the hospital with “Consultant C”.

It is understood that “Consultant C” is Coombe master Professor Michael O’Connell.

“For their part, Consultant B understood that Consultant C gave them permission to take the vaccine home. In an interview with me, Consultant B stated that they would not otherwise have taken the vaccine from the hospital,” Mr Kennedy said in the report.


“For their part, Consultant C stated in an interview with me that they agreed that Consultant B could take the vaccine home.”


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Asked by Mr Kennedy if he gave permission to the doctor to take the vaccines home, Consultant C “characterised their understanding of the position as being more that if Consultant B… was comfortable to take the vaccine home, they were not standing in their way.

“Consultant C stated ‘so if that’s construed as permission, that’s permission’ but further states that they do not recall actually stating that they permitted Consultant B to take the vaccine home.”

In a statement, the board of the hospital accepted that “mistakes were made, not least in the decision to vaccinate family members and, in one case, in the administration of two vaccines offsite. Lessons must and will be learnt to ensure that similar issues cannot recur.”

Prof O’Connell previously apologised for the administration of the vaccines to 16 staff family members in January, and said that he made “every effort to prioritise and identify additional frontline workers” for the doses.

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