HSE Chief Executive warns Ireland will be dealing with Covid-19 for a long time 

HSE Chief Executive warns Ireland will be dealing with Covid-19 for a long time 

Paul Reid will tell the Oireachtas Committee that shipments of the flu vaccine are expected to arrive in Ireland before the end of October. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

The chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, will tell the Oireachtas Committee on Covid-19 that Ireland will be dealing with the virus for a long time, even if a vaccine is rolled out. 

This afternoon Mr Reid will warn politicians that several waves of Covid-19 are on the way and that a "community first" approach should be taken to combat the challenges of the upcoming winter period.

Mr Reid will tell the committee that shipments of the flu vaccine are expected to arrive in Ireland before the end of October and that sufficient doses are available to all at-risk groups. 

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is due to appear before the committee tomorrow morning while Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn has postponed his appearance for the second week in a row.

Dr Glynn said his absenteeism is a "matter for the Department of Health" and that he "would not get into specifics."

Committee Chairperson Micheal McNamara said the group had hoped to hear from Dr Glynn but the invitation had not been taken up.

"Questions arise on the scientific basis upon which NPHET makes it recommendations to Government, which have invariably been followed to date," he said

"Nevertheless, for a second successive week - the last week on which the Committee is scheduled to have sessions - we have been informed that NPHET will not be attending to answer any questions."

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