HEALTH Minister Stephen Donnelly wants a “full account” following reports that family members of Coombe Hospital staff received leftover Covid-19 vaccines.
In a statement released this morning, the Minister said he was made aware last night of incidents relating to the administration of vaccines on Friday January 8 at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.
“Trust in the vaccine programme is of critical importance and what happened should not have happened,” Minister Donnelly said.
“Our vaccine allocation strategy clearly sets out a priority list for vaccination, and that’s currently for frontline healthcare workers and residents and staff of our long term residential care facilities.
“It does not include family members of healthcare workers.
“I will be speaking with the Chair of the Coombe Hospital Board for a full account,” the statement concluded.
The Coombe Hospital says that at 9pm on Friday January 8 there were 16 vaccine doses left after 1,100 staff, GPs and local community health workers were vaccinated.
In a statement, a spokesperson said that if the vaccine doses had not been administered they would have been discarded.
It also says the Health Service Executive booking system and portal was not yet live and because of this it was not possible to pre-book vaccinations and therefore be certain of the number of vaccinations required.
The spokesperson said that the hospital worked throughout the day, reconstituting the vials and making vaccines available to frontline workers.
“The team at the hospital proactively contacted the HSE to inform them of the additional available doses and actively sought out frontline workers to vaccinate.
“The hospital followed Government guidelines and focussed on the two current priority groups,” the hospital spokesperson said.
When 16 vaccine doses were left over at the end of the day “and to ensure that vaccines were not wasted they were administered to family members of employees of the hospital.”
“Of the 16 recipients, nine were over 70 and the remaining seven were of varying age.
“It would not be appropriate for the hospital to comment on the individuals involved.”