Clare’s Fine Gael Senator believes ‘lessons have been learned’ by the HSE after delays in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
It comes as the health service is facing robust criticism for not meeting its target of administering its target of 100,000 jabs last week.
Clare FM’s Rebecca O Sullivan reports.
The HSE will this week miss its vaccine target for the second week in a row, with around 81,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine being given out – short of the 100,000 per week target set.
It’s blaming AstraZeneca for the delays, saying the company failing to meet two scheduled deliveries in full has caused the backlog.
Locally, Clare FM understands that at least one GP surgery, located in the West of the county, is among a significant number nationally that are still waiting for its first doses to administer to over 85s.
This lunchtime, the HSE has told Clare FM that it IS on target to administer the first vaccine doses to the Over 85s this week and that it is seeking to resolve issues in what it calls a “small number” of GP practices.
The HSE did not address our questions in relation to this specific situation in Clare, however.
Clare’s Fine Gael Senator had earlier this week told Health Minister Stephen Donnelly in the Seanad that the level of information being provided on the vaccination programme wasn’t good enough.
However, today, Ennistymon-based Senator Martin Conway is more hopeful, stating that he has confidence in the HSE to roll out the vaccine at the desired pace.
The head of the HSE is expressing huge frustration with the manufacturers of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
It’s believed the company has made a commitment to the HSE that it will make up for the shortfall at a later date.
HSE CEO Paul Reid says he expects deliveries to become more reliable over time.
However, one immunologist does believe that new vaccines potentially being approved will help with supply issues.
The EMA may approve the one-shot Johnson & Johnson jab as soon as next Thursday, while a rolling review of the ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine has begun.
Trinity College Dublin Professor of Experimental Immunology, Professsor Kingston Mills says new vaccines will help tackle the problems faced here.