Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (448, 467, 468, 479, 481, 489, 520, 523, 530, 539, 540, 552, 571, 575, 586, 590, 598, 599, 613, 620, 629, 638, 655, 672)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

448. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Health if carers of vulnerable persons in the home are scheduled yet to receive the Covid-19 vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2200/21]

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Verona Murphy

Question:

467. Deputy Verona Murphy asked the Minister for Health if he will communicate a definitive guideline as to the stage of the Covid-19 vaccine allocation programme that home carers for the elderly and persons with disabilities will be offered the vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2247/21]

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Verona Murphy

Question:

468. Deputy Verona Murphy asked the Minister for Health if he will communicate a definitive guideline as to the stage of the Covid-19 vaccine allocation programme that dental nurses working in private practice will be offered the vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2248/21]

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David Cullinane

Question:

479. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the position in which National Ambulance Service staff fall in the provisional allocation groups for the Covid-19 vaccination; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2288/21]

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Matt Shanahan

Question:

481. Deputy Matt Shanahan asked the Minister for Health if he will review the priority of carers in terms of ranking status in receiving vaccines (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2296/21]

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Matt Carthy

Question:

489. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Health if dentists will be included in the Covid-19 vaccination programme during the same period as other healthcare practitioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2313/21]

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Neasa Hourigan

Question:

520. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide for the provision of the Covid-19 vaccine to staff of section 38 and 39 organisations. [2435/21]

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James Browne

Question:

523. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the status regarding the place of family carers within the prioritisation strategy for the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2442/21]

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Steven Matthews

Question:

530. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Health the reason home carers who do not fall into other priority categories in the provisional vaccine groups are not prioritised, given that the knock-on impacts for the health service are clear if they become a positive test case. [2468/21]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

539. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health when general practitioners in north County Dublin will be included in the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine; and if he will respond to concerns raised by general practitioners in the area that their priority on the roll-out list is not consummate with their need and the level of danger they face from Covid-19 in their work. [2503/21]

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Niamh Smyth

Question:

540. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if he will review correspondence in relation to the vaccine roll-out for healthcare workers (details supplied); if he will provide clarity on the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2504/21]

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Robert Troy

Question:

552. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health if special needs assistants, SNAs, will be prioritised in the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out programme. [2552/21]

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Peter Burke

Question:

571. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health if he has considered the prioritisation of vaccination for staff in early years settings which are open while schools and ECCE remain closed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2603/21]

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Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

575. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if he will address concerns raised in correspondence (details supplied); when he expects the nursing home to be vaccinated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2620/21]

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Marian Harkin

Question:

586. Deputy Marian Harkin asked the Minister for Health if he will consider offering the Covid-19 vaccinations specifically to teachers, SNAs and all healthcare personnel who are working with special needs students on a face-to-face basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2635/21]

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Neale Richmond

Question:

590. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Health when general practitioners can expect to receive the Covid-19 vaccine under the vaccine roll-out plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2639/21]

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Cormac Devlin

Question:

598. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Health if social care staff of all section 38 and 39 organisations will be included in the priority group two of the Covid-19 vaccination programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2659/21]

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Cormac Devlin

Question:

599. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Health if persons over 65 years of age working as home helps will be included in the priority group two of the Covid-19 vaccination programme similar to other frontline healthcare workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2660/21]

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Paul Murphy

Question:

613. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Health if it will be ensured that student nurses are included with other front-line health workers as a priority group to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, given that student nurses are an essential part of the health service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2696/21]

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Willie O'Dea

Question:

620. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Health if general practitioners will be prioritised to receive the Covid-19 vaccination; the timeframe for all general practitioners to receive the vaccination; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2729/21]

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Neale Richmond

Question:

629. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Health the plans in place for students doing placements in the healthcare system to receive the Covid-19 vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2768/21]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

638. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if he will identify the proposed roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines to mental health services personnel and institutions given the incidents of a number of outbreaks and the potential for the need to deal with the situation in early date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2793/21]

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Steven Matthews

Question:

655. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Health if the staff in a general practice surgery are considered to be front-line staff; and if they will be prioritised in the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out. [2844/21]

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Gary Gannon

Question:

672. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Health if healthcare workers within sections 38 and 39 organisations will be included in the second priority group for the vaccination, that is, healthcare workers, supporting those working with persons with disabilities and thus supporting individuals with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2938/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 448, 467, 468, 479, 481, 489, 520, 523, 530, 539, 540, 552, 571, 575, 586, 590, 598, 599, 613, 620, 629, 638, 655 and 672 together.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy sets out a provisional list of groups for vaccination. The Strategy was developed by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and my Department, endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020.

Further information is available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/39038-provisional-vaccine-allocation-groups/.

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is the responsibility of the HSE.

The aim of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is to ensure, over time, that vaccine will become available to vaccinate all of those for whom the vaccine is indicated. Given that there will be initially limited vaccines available, it will take some time for all to receive those vaccines and that has necessitated an allocation strategy to ensure that those most at risk of death and serious illness receive the vaccine first.

The priority is to first vaccinate and protect directly the most vulnerable amongst us, that is, those most likely to have a poor outcome if they contract the virus. The priority is to directly use vaccines to save lives and reduce serious illness, hence the focus on the over 65 year old cohort in long term residential care facilities, and healthcare workers in frontline services often caring for the most vulnerable.

All of the groups will be covered as further vaccine supplies become available and the immunisation programme is rolled out nationally.

The evidence will be kept under review and the allocation groups may be updated, where necessary, in light of new evidence.

Carers are a diverse group, therefore, each individual will be vaccinated in the group that is appropriate to them.