HSE to begin vaccination of medically vulnerable this week

This morning, there are 419 people with Covid-19 receiving treatment in Irish hospitals.
HSE to begin vaccination of medically vulnerable this week

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Colm Henry Chief Clinical Officer HSE, the first vaccinations at the Covid-19 vaccination centre, Bishopstown campus of Munster Technological University (MTU). Picture: Gerard McCarthy

Medically vulnerable people will start to get their Covid-19 vaccines from this morning.

The HSE’s chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry has confirmed that it is the HSE who will be contacting those people to alert them when they will receive their jabs.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Dr Henry explained that the HSE will be working through the hospital network initially to identify patients with chronic conditions such as cancer, renal failure, respiratory issues.

"The exercise to identify all such patients has commenced and the vaccinations will continue throughout March," he added.

Dr Henry said there were many diverse conditions included in the Category 4 cohort and that patients should not feel they have to contact the HSE or their GP.

“We will be working through the hospital network, there is no need for patients to get in touch.” 

Overnight in ICU, there were 103 patients with the virus, 64 of whom are on ventilators.

Overnight in ICU, there were 103 patients with the virus, 64 of whom are on ventilators.

This morning, there are 419 people with Covid-19 receiving treatment in Irish hospitals.

This is a fall of less than 1% since yesterday, while it is a 22% drop since last Monday's total.

There were 20 admissions in the past 24 hours to hospitals, while there have only been five discharges in the same period - the lowest number since December 26.

Overnight in ICU, there were 103 patients with the virus, 64 of whom are on ventilators.

While there had been “some incidents” with regard to deliveries of the vaccine recently, Dr Henry said he was confident that rescheduled deliveries will go ahead and that the summer deadlines will be achieved – for everyone who wants to be vaccinated.

“We will get there.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Staines, professor of health systems at DCU, says delays to the vaccine drive so far have been minor.

"The HSE are making effective use of the supplies that they get in, and that's really all they can do," he said. "They can't make vaccine."

However, Prof Staines said there has been a "hiccup" on the vaccine supply, but that was predicted.

"They are only hiccups, the supply is continuing to come. Vaccine is continuing to be available, and hopefully, we can roll the vaccine out to more and more countries around the world.

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