Vaccination Programme

Question No. 562 answered with Question No. 490.

Questions (561)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

561. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if a mass vaccination site will be established in Drogheda, County Louth, as part of the national vaccination roll-out in view of its significant urban population and the fact that it is the largest town in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2574/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy, as soon as possible.

Question No. 562 answered with Question No. 490.

Disabilities Assessments

Questions (563)

Neale Richmond

Question:

563. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Health the measures in place to shorten the waiting list for children of additional needs to be assessed for supports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2578/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Government, Our Shared Future, recognises the need to improve services for both children and adults with disabilities through better implementation and by working together across Government in a better way.

The Government commits to prioritising early diagnosis and access to services for children and ensuring that the most effective interventions are provided for each child, to guarantee the best outcomes.

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Question No. 565 answered with Question No. 490.

Questions (564)

Neale Richmond

Question:

564. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to countries that do not have PCR tests available for passengers to take prior to travelling to ensure they are in line with current guidelines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2587/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

From 16 January 2021, all passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are required to have a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR test that was carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.

It is the responsibility of travellers entering Ireland from overseas to ensure that they can meet the current testing requirements.

The following categories of travellers are exempt from requiring a pre-departure test result: International Transport Workers (including workers in aviation, maritime and road haulage sectors) travelling in the course of their duties, passengers transiting on to another country without exiting the airport and children aged 6 or younger.

If a citizen has a genuine humanitarian emergency requiring urgent travel, they should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate immediately for advice and consular assistance before commencing their journey.

Question No. 565 answered with Question No. 490.

Vaccination Programme

Questions (566)

Cian O'Callaghan

Question:

566. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Health if a list will be provided of the persons who constitute the key workers group who are sixth in the Covid-19 vaccine implementation plan sequence. [2592/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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 Department of Health, endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020.

Vaccine allocation is a matter for the Department of Health and 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.

Group 6 refers to key workers who are providing services essential to the vaccination programme. The Department, together with the HSE, is working to define which workers fall within this category.

Medical Aids and Appliances

Questions Nos. 568 to 570, inclusive, answered with Question No. 465.

Question No. 571 answered with Question No. 448.

Questions (567)

Alan Dillon

Question:

567. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for Health if funding is available for families within the CHO 2 area in County Mayo for speech generated devices used by children who are non-verbal; if so, the available funding; the number of applications received for funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2596/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Programme for Government, Our Shared Future, recognises the need to improve services for both children and adults with disabilities through better implementation and by working together across Government in a better way.

The Government commits to prioritising early diagnosis and access to services for children and ensuring that the most effective interventions are provided for each child, to guarantee the best outcomes.

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Questions Nos. 568 to 570, inclusive, answered with Question No. 465.
Question No. 571 answered with Question No. 448.

Commencement of Legislation

Questions (572)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

572. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when he plans making an order activating the provisions in the existing Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 relating to the unit pricing for alcohol in view of the success of similar legislation in Scotland, which has a land border with England; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2612/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Section 11 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 provides for the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol products of 10c per gram of alcohol. The 2013 Government Decision which approved the implementation of minimum unit pricing of alcohol products envisaged that it would be introduced in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland simultaneously. This was to allay concerns that its introduction in one jurisdiction only would impact on cross-border trade.

Legislation to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol products has not yet been introduced in Northern Ireland. However, in July last year, the Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann committed to a public consultation on the introduction of minimum unit pricing to be undertaken within one year.

Vaccination Programme

Question No. 574 answered with Question No. 447.

Question No. 575 answered with Question No. 448.

Questions (573)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Question:

573. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked the Minister for Health if teachers have been included in provisional vaccination category 6 as key workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2613/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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 Department of Health, endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020.

Vaccine allocation is a matter for the Department of Health and 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.

Group 6 refers to key workers who are providing services essential to the vaccination programme.

Question No. 574 answered with Question No. 447.
Question No. 575 answered with Question No. 448.