DOCTORS AND nurses at a hospital in Ireland have urged the government to begin rolling out vaccines for frontline staff.
Healthcare workers at Nenagh Hospital in Co Tipperary have been treating Covid-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic last March.
However, they have been left “infuriated” at a situation that has seen staff at many other hospitals across Ireland inoculated against the deadly virus.
Many of their colleagues at other hospitals in the UL Hospitals Group have been vaccinated, including staff at University Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital and University Limerick Maternity Hospital.
To make matters worse, it has also emerged workers at a private hospital in Ireland had been vaccinated against Covid-19 ahead of staff at public hospitals.
Eager to make their voices heard, clinical nurse manager Louise Morgan Walsh teamed up with several colleagues to film a video calling for the Government to issue vaccines to staff at the hospital.
The video, which was uploaded to Facebook, is addressed to the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, with Morgan Walsh asking “why aren’t we being vaccinated, why are we being left out”.
She goes on to explain how she has been left “exasperated” because staff had yet to be informed as to when they would receive the potentially life-saving jab.
“We are so angry, we are scared, we are afraid, we can see our co-workers going down with Covid and becoming very ill,” she said.
“How come we in Nenagh Hospital are being left out, when we can see private hospitals being vaccinated where there are no Covid patients, that’s a question I want to ask the Minister (for Health),Morgan Walsh added.
Exhausted, vulnerable and frightened frontline workers. Pleading with the government to provide us with #Covid19 vaccines... and asking why are we being left out? Please like and share
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Posted by M Walsh Lou on Friday, January 15, 2021
Another staff member also addressed the camera, saying: “I’m very infuriated that we have not even got a date for a vaccine here in Nenagh hospital. Everybody has family members, whether it be elderly parents, elderly grandparents, children, and we are so infuriated that it’s being picked who is getting this vaccine.”
“Our co-workers are going down (with Covid) at a rate that is just unbelievable, we are so scared, and we have no sight of a vaccine,” she added.
A third went on to describe the situation facing staff at the hospital as “urgent”.
“We already currently understaffed, and if we do not get this vaccine we are outnumbered patient to staff ratio — this is urgent,” she said.
A doctor also spoke up saying “none of the staff here have been vaccinated so far and we have a lot of numbers of Covid patients that we are dealing with every day”.
“I request the government to take immediate steps to provide vaccines for us,” they continued.
Another doctor noted : “I’m being deployed with the Covid patients and I did not get my vaccine yet, the staff who are not frontline are getting it, why aren’t we?”
One further member of staff summed up the frustrations perfectly.
“We have been looking after Covid patients since March, and we should be the ones who receive the vaccine first, not the other staff working in the other sectors, it is really frustrating, and we are really under pressure, so I think we deserve to get vaccinated”.
UL Hospitals Group has not yet commented on the video.
While up to 2,500 staff from across the hospital group have received a dose of the Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine, staff at Nenagh Hospital; St Johns Hospital, Limerick; and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital have not been given a timeline for when they will receive the jab.