IRELAND’S MINISTER for Health has condemned the actions of staff at Beacon Hospital in Dublin after it emerged several teachers from a nearby private school were given Covid-19 vaccines.
In yet another blow to Ireland’s beleaguered vaccine rollout, it emerged this week that 20 teachers and staff from St Gerard’s School near Bray, Co Wicklow, were vaccinated significantly ahead of schedule.
Stephen Donnelly branded the move “completely unacceptable” adding that “there is absolutely no defence of it whatsoever.”
Speaking to RTÉ’s Six One, the Health Minister noted that there are supposed to be“very clear protocols in place to avoid these things happening”.
The HSE is now set to appoint an official to oversee vaccinations at the Dublin private hospital.
According to a spokesperson, a senior official will now work with the Beacon to ensure proper standards are met when it comes to Ireland’s ongoing vaccination programme.
Despite the anger felt by many, Donnelly said stopping vaccinations he the private hospital would be “cutting off our nose despite our face” and “counterproductive”.
He also acknowledged that Beacon was providing vaccination services “at their own cost”.
Earlier the Minister for Health had condemned the actions of the private hospital in Sandyford, south Dublin on Twitter.
Donnelly tweeted: “No private school should have received vaccines from a private hospital. The protocols are crystal clear on having a backup list of people available from the priority cohorts. We are prioritising our most vulnerable right now, as it should be.”
The story has been met with anger and frustration among the Irish public.
Aoife Stokes, whose 64-year-old mother has cancer and has yet to receive the jab, told the Irish Times she was left “livid” after hearing about teachers receiving the vaccine, adding it was “very hard to comprehend.”
No private school should have received vaccines from a private hospital. The protocols are crystal clear on having a backup list of people available from the priority cohorts. We are prioritising our most vulnerable right now, as it should be.
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) March 26, 2021
The private hospital says the situation came about after discovering they had 20 “leftover” vaccine doses this past Tuesday.
Beacon say they had more than 200 “no-shows” that day with many HSE staff who were due to receive a jab ending up double booked with vaccination appointments also scheduled at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.