UL Hospitals Group Gave COVID Jabs To 100 Gardaí

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Around 100 Gardaí based in Clare and Limerick have been given their first COVID vaccines this week, even though members of the force are not prioritised for the jabs.

The vaccinations were administered at the Limerick vaccination centre, which is run by the UL Hospitals Group.

It insists the vaccines were offered to Gardaí in line with national guidance, and that this won’t impact on the timetable for vaccinating people with underlying medical conditions.


Members of the force have previously been given permission to accept vaccines if offered them by the HSE.


These vaccines were administered at the start of this week, before the government’s announcement that Gardaí and others would NOT be prioritised on the basis of occupation.

Gardaí were never formally added to that list, and even when this was anticipated, they were to wait until those with underlying health conditions, and those aged 70 and over, got their jabs first.

Those with medical conditions are in Cohort 4, and to date 25,000 of these people have received their first dose, out of an estimated 150,000.

But even though thousands in the MidWest are in this group and still waiting for a vaccine, UL Hospitals Group administered vaccines to around 100 Gardaí at the Limerick vaccination centre in the Radisson Blu Hotel early this week.

Clare FM understands that fifteen of these Gardaí are stationed in Clare.

The Hospitals Group says the vaccines administered were offered to local Garda management from standby lists developed to ensure surplus jabs aren’t wasted.

However, in at least some cases, Clare FM understands individuals were informed on Sunday that vaccinations would be offered the following day.

If left unopened, the AstraZeneca vaccine – the one administered at the HSE centres – can be kept in a fridge for close on six months.

The UL Hospitals Group says it’s still in the process of contacting patients who are in Cohort 4, and when it was asked by Clare FM why more of these patients weren’t offered the vaccines instead of Gardaí, a statement issued to the station didn’t address that question directly.

However, the group does insist that the decision won’t alter the timeline for those with underlying health conditions.

Before that, in a press release on Wednesday, after these jabs were administered, the Group stated over 2,300 people in Cohort 4 had been vaccinated but made no mention that anyone else, including Gardaí, had also been inoculated.

Last week, after a similar case emerged involving Gardaí in Galway, Garda Headquarters told members they are permitted to accept any surplus vaccines if offered them by the HSE.