Covid-19 vaccines

  • Thousands of people between the ages of 18 and 64 could be moved up the country's vaccination priority list, under a new plan being worked on by government.

    A memo will be brought to Cabinet on Tuesday by the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, after he received new advice on the issue from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

    It's understood certain diseases, where there's clinical advice and evidence of higher risk of severe illness may be moved up.

    Meanwhile, Preparations are under way for the ramping up of the vaccination roll-out with 100,000 doses due to be given next week, which is up 20,000 on the number of people inoculated in the past week.

  • A 21-year-old transplant patient from Knock says he can't understand why his community has been placed seventh in the HSE vaccine priority list.

    Matthew McNeive has had 25 operations since birth including a Kidney transplant in 2010.

    He has to attend hospital three days a week for dialysis.

    He is a third year student at the Technological University Dublin studying Clinical Measurement Science, and was due to start placement in Beaumont Hospital last October.

    However, the HSE deemed Matthew too high risk due to Covid-19 so his placement has been deferred.

    The frustrating point for Matthew is that some students on his course who began their placements have already had their vaccines.

    The Knock native says Dialysis patients are regarded as being extremely high risk in terms of Covid-19 and to put them way down the list seems contradictory.

  • Britain has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use and said that it will be rolled out from early next week.Priority groups will be first to receive the vaccine - including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically-vulnerable.

    Here, it's reported this morning that the State will pick up the liability for any claims resulting from COVID-19 vaccinations.

    The companies producing the vaccine have been indemnified under the advanced purchase contracts signed with the European Commission.

    The State Claims Agency will have responsibility for any claims and it's expected to be discussed by the expert group responsible for the roll-out of a vaccine.

    The Department of Health has stressed that no vaccine will be rolled out in Ireland without European Medicines Agency authorisation and there will be ongoing monitoring of its success.

    Meanwhile, the Taoiseach has rejected the idea that Ireland should appoint a minister with sole responsibility for rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine.

  • The Government needs to immediately outline their contingency plan for rolling out Covid-19 vaccines to the over-70's.

    That's according to Galway East TD Séan Canney, a member of the Regional Group of TDs who say clear and concise information in now needed to reduce any further anxiety.

    It follows the HSE's advice last night that people over the age of 70 should be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, rather than the AstraZeneca,due to lack of evidence about how well the AstraZeneca protects older people.

    However, there are issues over the storage and transportation of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and Deputy Séan Canney says that, while GPs will be administering the Pfizer vaccine, we need to know how and when this will commence.

    He's calling for urgent clarification on the matter from the Government & Minister for Health.

  • Covid-19 vaccination centres at the Breaffy House resort in Castlebar and at the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon are open from today.

    Mayo FG Deputy Alan Dillon has confirmed that the vaccination centre opened at 10am this morning in Breaffy for people aged over 75 and younger people at very high risk of the virus.

    Operations were trialled at the Castlebar centre yesterday, in preparation for opening this morning.

    The vaccination centre at the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon town also began delivering Covid vaccines today.

    There are 10 bays in the centre to cater for people coming in by appointment.

    Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten says it's good news for the people of Co Roscommon, and he also wants those in east Galway and parts of Mayo to be allowed avail of the centre at the Abbey Hotel, if it's nearer to their home than the facility within their own county....


  • A public information campaign has been launched on the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine to over 70s.

    The HSE says it will include ads across TV, radio, newspapers and social media.

    Over 85s will be the first age group invited to get the vaccine when doses of the AstraZeneca jab arrive next month.

    Professor of Health Systems at DCU, Anthony Staines, doesn't believe the government's target of vaccinating everyone by September can be met.


  • As a number of GPs across the region do not yet have certainty on the delivery of vaccines ahead of the weekend, Mayo TD Dara Calleary says he's been "pulling his hair out" trying to get information from the HSE on the rollout.

     Deputy Calleary was one of a number of Fianna Fáil TDs who criticised the pace of the vaccine roll-out, particularly for those aged over 85.

    Speaking at the FF Parliamentary party meeting last night, he said he had little faith in the HSE to deliver - given some experiences.

    It comes as the health service failed to hit the Government's target of administering 100,000 doses last week, with supply issues blamed.

    However, the HSE maintains the majority of over 85's will receive their first vaccination by the end of this week.

  • The HSE has accepted the delivery of Ireland's first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines, which are now in cold storage.

    The first of those jabs is due to be administered in four days time.

    Taoiseach has said he anticipates three different vaccines being available in January.

    Micheal Martin believes vaccine manufacturing will speed up in the New Year.

  • The first Covid-19 vaccine in Ireland will be administered today.

    It's expected that will happen in one of four major hospitals,  Galway and Cork University Hospitals,  Beaumont  and St James' hospital in Dublin.

    Only the Netherlands is due to start it's vaccination programme after Ireland, some EU states began the process as soon as the doses arrived on Saturday.

    Taoiseach Micheal Martin says the most vulnerable to Coronavirus will be receiving them first:

    The confirmed cases of Covid 19 are on the rise nationally, with  765 of the virus reported to the Dept of Health yesterday

    There were 9 cases of the virus detected in Mayo, 10 in Roscommon and 18 in Galway.

  • A clinical nurse manager today became the first staff member at Mayo University Hospital to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

    Mary Neary, a clinical nurse manager on C Ward, received the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine from her nursing colleague Padraig O'Lúanaigh, beginning the rollout of the vaccination campaign at the Castlebar hospital.

    The Saolta Hospital Group says the vaccination programme will be extended across the hospital and community services in the coming weeks, and over 500 staff at Mayo University Hospital will be vaccinated before the end of this week.


  • The Health Minister has said his plan is for everyone to be offered a COVID vaccine by September.

    Minister Stephen Donnelly told the Dáil this morning that Ireland is due to get 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the first quarter of the year.

    EU leaders will meet by video conference later to discuss a target of vaccinating 70 per cent of people by the summer.

    Minister Donnelly says they're looking to get access to more doses of vaccine as soon as possible.


    Carers who work in the formal sector will be included in the second cohort of people to get the vaccine.

    Those employed by the HSE or private caring companies will be given priority access to vaccination, according to Minister Stephen Donnelly.

    Dentists will also be included in the second cohort of people to get the vaccine as healthcare workers.






    The Government has defended changes to the vaccine roll-out that have been strongly criticised by sectors which believe they should be given priority.

    The new model will see people vaccinated based on age after the over-70s, medically vulnerable and those with underlying conditions have been taken care of.

    Following the first 8 groups of elderly, healthcare workers and medically vulnerable, the next cohort to be vaccinated will be those aged between 55 and 64, then 45 to 54 and so on.

    It means groups like Gardaí, teachers and family carers who had been pushing for early vaccination won't get it.

    But Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn says they're following scientific advice:

  • Ireland is in line to get an extra 46,500 Pfizer vaccines this month.

    It comes after the European Commission secured an extra 4 million doses of the vaccine.

    Meanwhile the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said the issue with vaccines is one of timing, rather than supply.

    Minister Donnelly played down reports of serious shortfalls in the number of vaccines expected in the first quarter of this year, and said Ireland has more than enough vaccines ordered for everyone in the country.....

  • A Roscommon TD is calling on the Taoiseach to intervene to ensure that housebound older people are told when they can expect to receive the Covid-19 vaccine through the National Ambulance Service.

    On 11th March the National Ambulance Service started the Covid vaccination of housebound patients around the Dublin area, and a week later the HSE said 300 of the estimated 1,500 nationally that are housebound had been vaccinated.

    We are now into the third week of the vaccination programme for housebound older people and Deputy Naughten says he cannot find out when housebound people in the West of Ireland will be vaccinated.

    He says local health management don't know, not do the patients' GPs....

  • Clarity is required from the HSE as to how and when the general public will receive their Covid 19 vaccines - that's according to Castlebar councillor Michael Kilcoyne.

    The Independent councillor, who's a member of the HSE West Forum, has submitted a written question to HSE Management looking for details on how people aged 80 and under will receive their vaccine, and will they be contacted by their GP?

    He asks what if a person doesn’t have a GP? Where will they receive the vaccine and what vaccine will they receive? Will they have a choice in what vaccine they receive?

    He also questions when the Vaccination Centre for Mayo, at Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar will be in operation for people to receive a vaccine.

    The CEO of the Saolta Hospital Group Tony Canavan told the HSE West Forum meeting last month that the centre at Breaffy would be fully adapted and ready for the rollout of the vaccination programme by the end of the first week of March (last Friday) and that the facility would be open to the public by mid March, yet despite questions from Midwest News to Saolta, this week, asking if these dates are being met, we have been unable to get any response.

  • Up to 950-thousand Covid vaccine doses will be given when clinics finish work today.

    People with underlying medical conditions are receiving their jab at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin today.

    While GP-led hubs are continuing to operate at the Helix, Munster Technological University in Cork and Merlin Park in Galway.

    The head of the HSE says Ireland's millionth dose will be given just a few days from now - with plans to exceed the 7-day record of 120-thousand doses next week.

    HSE chief executive Paul Reid says the levels of vaccination are starting to take pressure off our hospitals.


  • Despite concerns among some over 85s in Mayo who have not yet received their first Covid 19 vaccine, the HSE insists the plan to have all over 85s given their first jab by the end of this week is on schedule.

    The HSE West issued a statement to Midwest News yesterday evening ,saying they're on target to administer a first dose to the over 85's by the end of this week, and have also begun vaccinating those aged between 80 and 84.

    While the HSE says it's aware of a relatively small number of GP practices where there have been operational issues regarding ordering and delivery schedules; they have endeavoured to respond to them quickly and to resolve issues as they arise.

    A central GP Order Support Team is assisting GPs in placing their orders and understanding the delivery arrangements, in order to ensure the smooth rollout of the vaccine.


  • There was strong criticism of aspects of the vaccine rollout programme at last night's meeting of the both the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael parliamentary parties.

    A number of TDs shared their anger at last night's meetings, as many over 85s still don't know when they'll get their injection.

    Mayo TD Dara Calleary said he had little faith in the HSE to deliver given some experiences.

    It comes as the health service failed to hit the government's target of administering 100,000 doses last week, with supply issues blamed.

    But professor of virology at UCD, Gerald Barry, says Ireland's doing well compared to other EU nations:...

  • Mayo FG Deputy Alan Dillon is calling for a second Covid vaccination centre for Co Mayo, to be located in the north of the county.

    While welcoming confirmation that Breaffy House Resort will be the primary vaccination centre for Mayo, Deputy Dillon says that - given the geographical spread of the county and limited public transport - it would be strategically important for the HSE to provide another mass vaccination centre in north Mayo.

    The Fine Gael TD has written to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and the HSE, asking that they would prioritise north Mayo for a second vaccination centre.


  • There are people aged over 90 in Co Mayo who have not yet received any Covid-19 vaccine to date, which is simply not good enough, according to Deputy Rose Conway Walsh.

    The Sinn Fein TD says she is aware of a 95 year old, house bound woman in the county who is sitting waiting to secure the jab so that she can again be visited by family and friends, and yet she has heard nothing about when she might secure it.

    The HSE Helpline on vaccine delivery is of no value to these people, the deputy argues,  and it’s frustrating to hear HSE ads on the media outlining that the vaccine rollout is going to plan and under 70s are the next group to receive their jabs.

     Deputy Conway Walsh told Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley she is being contacted by 80 and 90 year old, house bound people in Mayo who have heard nothing, as yet, about when they can expect to be vaccinated....