A Cork mother has claimed her teenage son missed out on his Covid vaccine appointment after the HSE vaccine helpline misadvised them about the necessary identification documents to enter the centre.
Ellen Morgan from Youghal, Co Cork, said “it is extremely frustrating” that her son did not receive his Covid vaccine appointment on Tuesday morning at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and is speaking out to warn other members of the public.
PJ Morgan, was due for his first Covid vaccine dose at the stadium with an 11.05am appointment.
Mr Morgan’s grandfather brought him to the stadium for his appointment as she was unwell at home.
However the teenager, 16, was turned away after arriving with the documentation he was instructed to bring.
Mr Morgan’s passport is no longer valid and he does not have a driver’s licence. His mother contacted the HSE Covid vaccine helpline last Thursday and explained her son’s situation.
She claims she was told to bring an ML10 form signed by the gardaí along with proof of address and his PPS number.
The ML10 form is a document mainly used for financial applications when the applicant does not have a passport or driver’s licence and is accepted as proof of ID. It is not accepted as proof of address.
Current HSE online guidelines state that members of the public aged 16 and 17 without photo ID should bring their birth certificates to vaccination centres.
Despite presenting his signed ML10 form at the Páirc Uí Chaoimh vaccination centre, Ms Morgan’s son did not receive his Covid vaccine and was informed the document was no longer accepted as proof of ID after a recent rule change.
Ms Morgan rang the HSE Covid helpline after the appointment disappointment and was told to bring her son his birth certificate.
However, this was not possible as she was at home more than 50km away in Youghal. Mr Morgan was told if he was able to return to the stadium with his birth cert before 4pm he would be to receive his vaccine dose.
“I said to your man from the HSE: 'You can use that form to open a bank account but you can’t use that form to get a vaccine from the HSE'.
“I said: ‘If you change things for the appointments you should let people know. We’re over 32 miles away’,” said Ms Morgan.
“Very very frustrating,” she said adding the disappointment left her son devastated.
“You can’t do right for doing wrong, it’s so frustrating,” she said after describing the lengths taken to complete the ML10 form.
When Ms Morgan asked the helpline operator to contact the stadium she was told this was not possible as the HSE vaccine helpline has no means of contacting Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
She said a vaccine with her local GP is not possible as the clinic has stopped offering them and that she will have to register her son again for a HSE appointment.
The HSE did not provide comment when contacted.
Over the bank holiday weekend, more than 30,000 people received a vaccine at walk-in vaccination centres, “outstripping” expectations from health officials, according to HSE chief Paul Reid.
Monday was the busiest day of the weekend with 11,000 people aged over 16 availing of the walk-in vaccine facility at centres around the country.