New Covid-19 vaccination plan must be sensible and practical
A new “sensible and practical” roadmap for tackling Covid-19 in Donegal will be required following a decision that the AstraZeneca vaccine will now only be made available for people between the ages of 60 and 69, a Donegal GP has said.
The comments come as the HSE confirmed: “We have further advised Hospital Groups and CHOs to cancel all AstraZeneca clinics, except those arranged for certain people over the age of 60, for the remainder of this week as we work to reconfigure our rollout plans to take in to account the latest NIAC guidance.”
As plans are finalised for the changing vaccination rollout throughout the country, it has also been announced by the Taoiseach, that Ireland is to receive an extra 545,000 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, starting this month.
Issues around the vaccination rollout were compounded yesterday as a second vaccine that was expected to be used in Ireland over the coming months, the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine, has also been shelved, for the interim, at least.
J&J said they are delaying the roll-out of its Covid-19 vaccine in Europe after health authorities in the United States moved to suspend use of the shot due to the potential of developing a clot, in exceptional circumstances.
This will affect Ireland's vaccination plan as some 600,000 doses ofthe J&J vaccine were due to be delivered to the country before the end of June.
It also comes in the wake of Denmark announcing yesterday that it would no longer be using the AstraZeneca amongst its population.
In Donegal, for those aged between 65 and 69, the online vaccine registration system will open from today (Thursday).
Speaking yesterday of the impact of the trust of the vaccination roll out following this week’s revelations and decisions on both the AstraZeneca and J&J vaccine, Donegal Coroner and chair of the Irish Medical Organisation GP committee, Dr McCauley told RTE’s Morning Ireland programme: “I think that people want certainty.
“And I think that you can see yesterday that there was somewhat confusion about AstraZeneca, and then the Johnson and Johnson came as a double whammy.
“So I agree with the Minister (Eamon Ryan) in the view that the HSE will react very quickly to this.
“Indeed we were having meetings up to late last night on this so I expect a revised plan shortly.
He expects that this plan will once again give certainty to the situation as it currently stands with the vaccination plans in the weeks ahead.
“I think that when it comes to the evolution of the likes of delaying the doses and stuff, it is prudent to have a look at that.
“Naturally, they will have to look at the science, that is what they have done in the UK to see, now they’ll have figures about that.
He added: “But I think that will probably come after the actual commencement of this vaccine rollout to the people with very high risk and the people over 60 and 65 is the priority. And that will happen very soon.
“Hopefully, it will be a sensible, practical plan that people can understand and that general practice will probably be involved in it, but as yet I can’t really say exactly what way we will (move), we will plan more today and consult with our membership.”
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