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Seven-day vaccination rollout imperative for nursing homes

Monday January 4, 2021

Commitment of Minister and HSE Welcomed

4th January 2021: Nursing Homes Ireland has welcomed the commitment of the Minister for Health and HSE CEO Paul Reid that rollout of the vaccine will move to 35,000 doses this week and will move to seven days a week, incorporating all healthcare settings.

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO states: “Today the Minister and the HSE CEO have made commitments on the vaccine and we especially welcome that vaccination rollout will be across seven days and this will encompass all healthcare settings. There is an overwhelming desire within the private and voluntary nursing home sector to accommodate and indeed assist to administer vaccination of residents and staff so the commitment to move to seven days is very positive.  To facilitate timely rollout, nursing home staff who are experienced peer vaccinators require Covid-specific training to support in the administration of the vaccine to nursing home residents.

“It is right that a priority within the vaccination rollout programme should be the 600 nursing homes across the country. There is great willingness within our sector to support efficiency and flexibility in enabling the rollout of the vaccine be achieved in as short a timeframe as possible.

“We’re further encouraged by the commitment to administer 35,000 vaccines this week and at least 40,000 vaccines every other week, with supply being the only limiting factor.  The continued prioritisation of nursing home residents and staff will hopefully achieve all being vaccinated in a time period quicker than that scheduled for the end of February for completion of the nursing home programme.

“We have engaged with the HSE on a constant basis with regard to the vaccine rollout within nursing homes and remain committed to supporting it in achieving rollout in as quick a timeframe as possible. We find ourselves seeking to navigate a very dangerous juncture. Vaccination is in sight for all nursing homes but the multiplying of cases in our communities has a direct consequence for nursing homes, with health experts nationally and internationally stating high-incidence in community has an inevitable impact on nursing homes. Every person’s actions have a real impact on our goal to supress transmission of the virus. We urge people to be cognisant of nursing home residents, the most susceptible to the virus, and the staff striving to keep them staff. Please heed the public health advices to support nursing home residents through this pandemic.”

Tadhg Daly is available for further comment. Interviews will be facilitated by Michael McGlynn, Communications & Research Executive, who can be contacted at 087 9082970.