Covid vaccine: Housebound to receive first dose no later than May

ireland
Covid Vaccine: Housebound To Receive First Dose No Later Than May
Those awaiting vaccination at home will be contacted in the coming days, the Minister for Health said. Photo: PA Images.
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Sarah Mooney

All those who are household and eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine will receive their first dose no later than May, according to the Minister for Health.

Following discussions with the HSE, Stephen Donnelly said those awaiting vaccination at home will be contacted in the coming days and vaccinated within a three-week period.

It is expected that all first doses will be delivered no later than May and all second doses will be delivered no later than June.

It comes amid reports that around 1,000 people over the age of 70 are still waiting for their first vaccine.

“I have spoken to the HSE and a dedicated system is now being put in place to ensure all those awaiting a vaccination at home will be contacted in the coming days,” the Minister said in a statement on Friday evening.

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“I would like to reassure individuals and their families who are still awaiting vaccination, the HSE will make direct contact with them and we will administer the vaccine within a three-week period.”

Service capacity

Mr Donnelly said the National Ambulance Service (NAS) was “working hard to process a high volume of referrals received for the programme”.

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It is currently operating a seven-day service and is undertaking around 400 appointments per week, equating to between 50 and 60 people vaccinated daily, he added.

“The National Ambulance Service will double its capacity from next week in order to accelerate the delivery of vaccines. I want to thank the national ambulance service for their work on this part of the programme in the past number of weeks,” the Minister added.

The Department of Health said the delivery of vaccination within the stated period was “contingent on supply and other factors”.

The requirement to spend an average of 30 to 40 minutes at each home and long travel times to housebound people dispersed across the country could potentially hinder the service, it said.

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