HSE CEO 'cannot condone' Dublin hospital vaccinating teachers of private school

'Leftover' doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were given to teachers and staff at St Gerard’s Catholic School in Bray — a school attended by the children of the hospital's CEO
HSE CEO 'cannot condone' Dublin hospital vaccinating teachers of private school

The Beacon Hospital in Dublin is being used as a vaccination centre for frontline healthcare workers. Picture: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie

HSE boss Paul Reid has said that he "cannot condone" the vaccination of teachers from a private school at Dublin’s Beacon Hospital.

A report in the Irish Daily Mail found on Tuesday, March 23, twenty  'leftover' doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine were given to teachers and staff at St Gerard’s Catholic School in Bray — a fee-paying school attended by children of the hospital CEO.

Currently, people in cohort 4 of the rollout programme are being administered doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Teachers are listed under Cohort 11.

"I cannot condone when something like this happens,” Mr Reid told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland.

"There were very clear guidelines on how vaccinations should be planned, what should happen when vials were opened and the backup list." 

The HSE chief said it was "extremely annoying and frustrating" for himself and the HSE when incidents like this happened.

From my perspective, there can be no ambiguity about backup lists. We expect all to comply with this.

At present, the Beacon hospital is being used as a vaccination centre for frontline healthcare workers.

In a statement, Beacon Hospital chief executive Micheal Cullen acknowledged that the decision to vaccinate the teachers was "not in line with the sequencing guidelines in place from the HSE".

 HSE CEO, Paul Reid said: "There were very clear guidelines on how vaccinations should be planned, what should happen when vials were opened and the backup list."  File picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
HSE CEO, Paul Reid said: "There were very clear guidelines on how vaccinations should be planned, what should happen when vials were opened and the backup list."  File picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

Mr Cullen said the decision was made under time pressure "with a view to ensuring that the vaccine did not go to waste".  

"I sincerely apologise for the upset that this decision has caused and we are updating our approach to our backup list to ensure that this situation does not arise again."

However, Paul Reid said the hospital should have followed the HSE’s prioritisation list.

“We do want them to have backup lists as we don’t want vials wasted. But we do expect all services to stick with our prioritisation and sequencing,” he said on Newstalk Breakfast.

He said he understood that if a vial was opened, it would have to be used.

But even the preparation for the day does need prioritisation on who you might have on standby and there are plenty of options, legitimately, around what can be done next. 

"I don't believe the case of what happened can be a legitimate rationale when there are other cohorts that could have been prioritised."

The Beacon Hospital said that on Tuesday, there were "over 200 HSE no-shows" for scheduled vaccine appointments. This, the hospital said, resulted from people being double-booked for vaccinations at the Aviva Stadium.

"Beacon Hospital immediately liaised with the HSE, and the majority of these excess vaccines were subsequently used for HSE staff who were redirected to Beacon Hospital throughout the afternoon," the hospital said. 

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