SEVERAL HOSPITALS in Ireland have continued to give Covid-19 vaccines to administration staff despite being instructed to save any extra doses for frontline workers.
According to the HSE, these hospitals were supposed to have drawn up lists of paramedics and other healthcare assistants in need of protection but have either failed to do or simply ignored them.
The HSE acknowledged the "disappointment and frustration" felt by many staff who are in direct contact with Covid-19 patients yet still waiting to be vaccinated.
Ireland’s largest trade union, the Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU), has criticised the HSE’s handling of the vaccination schedule.
It comes with many paramedics, radiographers and healthcare assistants now facing a three-week wait to be vaccinated after their planned appointments were pushed back.
SIPTU health divisional organiser Kevin Figgis has called on the HSE to redouble its efforts to ensure frontline workers are prioritised.
He said: "There's a real requirement on the HSE to ensure that the sequencing document is implemented to the highest degree. They need to make sure that the priority workers, that are ranked the highest, are the first to receive the vaccine.
"There will be distinct concerns where those high-risk categories are not receiving the vaccine and obviously, they hear stories from other people who are accessing it.
"No one is going to have confidence in the system if those stories continue."
Figgis also expressed concern over the announcement that the HSE is to pause the vaccination of healthcare workers in Ireland until early February in a move he felt "could not come at worse time."
It follows the publication of data from the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre (HPSC) which showed 6,834 healthcare workers tested positive for Covid-19 over the past two weeks.