GPs have crucial role to play in vaccination says Covid lead

Gps Have Crucial Role To Play In Vaccination Says Covid Lead Gps Have Crucial Role To Play In Vaccination Says Covid Lead
Ireland is waiting on a decision from the European Medicines Agency before the vaccine can be administered here.
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Digital Desk Staff

The Covid lead for the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) believes everyone who is trained in administering vaccines could play a role in giving them.

A high-level task force was due to submit its report to Government yesterday, detailing the roll-out of Covid-19 jabs once they are approved.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is set to make its decision on the Pfizer/BioNTech candidate by December 29th, but approval at an earlier date has not been ruled out. Taoiseach Micheál Martin has assured that when the vaccine becomes available to Ireland, the country will be ready to administer it.

Cork GP Dr Nuala O'Connor says it would make sense for GPs to administer some of the vaccines when they do become available here.

"[GPs] are the main vaccinators. When you think about the logistics of this, before we get to vaccinating children and pregnant persons, we are talking about 2.4 million people, and each of those has to get two doses - that's 4.8 million doses of the vaccine that has to be administered."


This comes after the publication of the Government's provisional vaccine allocation groups earlier this week, with people over 65 living in long-term care facilities and healthcare staff in direct contact with the virus being the first in line to receive the vaccine.

The HSE has also launched an online survey to find out how the public feel about Covid-19 vaccines, wishing to hear from healthcare workers and members of the public between now and December 18th.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and is confidential.

Late on Friday, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in the US became the third national agency to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, following the UK and Canada.

US grants Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine FDA approval
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The first rounds of the vaccine were administered earlier this week in the UK.

Despite the excitement caused by the roll-out of the Pfizer vaccine and progress from other manufacturers, the public is being urged to continue to adhere to public health measures until widespread vaccination has been achieved, particularly over the Christmas period when restrictions are further eased to allow for household visits.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan asked the public to "ration" their social interactions in the coming days and weeks to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus when they meet their friends and family over Christmas.

Yesterday, 313 new cases of Covid-19 were reported to the Department of Health, with three additional deaths. According to the HSE, there are 190 people with Covid-19 in hospital today, 34 of whom are being treated in ICUs.

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