ICU staff at Cork University Hospital among those still not vaccinated 

It is understood the soonest all ICU nurses, and a number of midwives, will be vaccinated with their first jab could be the end of February
ICU staff at Cork University Hospital among those still not vaccinated 

Some of the ICU staff could not be vaccinated because they were self-isolating when they could have been given an inoculation.

A number of ICU staff and a range of other frontline workers at Cork University Hospital have yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Ironically, an ICU nurse at CUH was among the first people in the State to receive the vaccine.

At the time ICU clinical nurse manager Berni O’Sullivan got her vaccine in late December, it was also reported that more than 500 frontline staff at CUH were to receive the inoculation over a three-day period from December 29.

By January 29, 5,850 healthcare workers in CUH had been vaccinated and the process of second-dose administrations had also begun.

It is understood, however, the soonest all ICU nurses, and a number of midwives, can be vaccinated with their first jab could be the end of February.

Some of the ICU staff could not be vaccinated because they were self-isolating when they could have been given an inoculation.

But it is understood a number of others simply have not been given one yet.

The South/South West Hospital Group, which runs CUH, was asked how many ICU and non-ICU nurses employed in CUH, University Hospital Kerry (UHK) and University Hospital Waterford (UHW) have been vaccinated.

A spokesperson said it is not possible to say which cohort of healthcare workers has received the vaccine or not and that vaccine clinics have administered available supply on a continuous basis. They said as of January 31, more than 12,000 frontline staff in the three hospitals across all disciplines had received their first vaccine doses in clinics.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has insisted ongoing issues over vaccination for frontline health workers needs to be sorted out immediately.

INMO industrial relations officer Liam Conway said: “The South/Southwest Hospital Group has confirmed ICU staff still waiting to get vaccinated and those working in Covid facing roles at CUH will be prioritised.

“It is expected the vaccine roll-out will take place from the middle to the end of February.

“Supply remains an issue, but getting healthcare workers vaccinated is an absolute must and a priority for their safety and the safety of their patients.”

On January 29, Bridie O'Sullivan, chief director of Nursing and Midwifery at the South/South-West Hospital Group wrote to Mr Conway about the issue.

She told him: "We are aware there are a number of frontline healthcare workers such as nurses and midwives that await their first-dose vaccination.

"We have been advised further vaccines will become available towards the end of February when we will aim to vaccinate the remainder of healthcare workers.

"Should vaccines become available in the meantime, priority lists of frontline staff have been identified to enable staff to avail of vaccine at short notice."

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