Vaccination for GPs will now open on Monday, a leading Cork GP involved with the roll-out has confirmed as glitches in the IT registration system have caused delays.
As the Irish Examiner reports, An online portal for GPs to book a vaccine slot for themselves and people on their team had been expected to go live on Friday.
Covid-19 lead for the Irish College of General Practitioners Dr Nuala O’ Connor said the system will open up to the general public when the high priority groups have been vaccinated.
“GP teams will be allocated to the nearest vaccination centre, the majority of GPs will be vaccinated at an acute hospital. We have made other arrangements for some rural GPs,” she said.
The IT system, built by a partnership between IBM, Salesforce and the HSE, has already proved controversial.
Some nursing homes have said for example saying they are using Excel sheets to record vaccine data currently.
“GPs are delighted to get the vaccine, they are absolutely thrilled. We have the same anxieties as everyone else, the morale boost is incredible,” Dr O’ Connor said.
A small number of GPs including some in Cork City have already been vaccinated, mainly through having close links to hospitals or nursing homes.
This has happened in a number of hospitals as contrary to expectation some vials contain enough vaccine for up to seven shots instead of the standard five shots.
And in other cases GPs are vaccinated because they are part of the care team for a nursing home.
Dr O’ Connor said all general practice teams will be vaccinated before delivering the vaccine to older people outside nursing homes.
There are about 3,500 GPs in Ireland. Practice teams vary but could include a number of doctors, practice nurse, receptionist and other health professionals.