Ennis GP Says Slow Pace Of Vaccine Roll-Out Is “Appalling”

An Ennis GP has strongly criticised the Covid-19 vaccine programme, saying there’s simply no excuse for the slow pace of the roll out.

Up to 4 million people are expected to be vaccinated within the next nine months, but Dr Máire Finn says there’s no reason it can’t move faster, if existing systems run by GPs are utilised.

The Tánaiste has said 100,000 vaccinations a week could happen from February.

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The Health Minister has indicated that 4 million people could be vaccinated against Covid 19 within the next nine months.

Stephen Donnelly has sent updated projections to TDs saying 7.5 million doses should arrive between April and the end of September.

A decision is due at the end of the month on the Oxford-Astrazenca vaccine, which is seen as the gamechanger, as it doesn’t have to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures.

Immunology Professor Luke O’Neill says it has other benefits too.

But a Clare GP has strongly criticised the slow pace of the roll-out of the vaccine, saying it’s “appalling” and that there’s simply no excuse for it.

Ennis-based Dr Máire Finn says family doctors and their staff should be at the centre of administering the vaccine, as systems already in place would speed up delivery.

Dr. Finn has also expressed frustration over the Government’s failure to include GPs and other community healthcare workers on the priority list for the vaccine.

Clare’s Independent TD, Michael McNamara has echoed this sentiment, saying those on the front line should be at the top of the queue.

The matter has been raised during leaders’ questions in the Dáil this afternoon, during which Leo Varadkar said that if the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved as expected on January 29th the state will be able to double the rate of vaccination.

That would mean 100,000 vaccinations a week happening from February

The Tanaiste says it would be a significant step.