Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (804, 840, 861, 862, 865, 866, 875, 876, 899, 905, 906, 910, 911, 912, 923, 924, 938, 948, 949, 958, 965, 966, 983)

Colm Burke

Question:

804. Deputy Colm Burke asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter regarding the vaccination of renal patients (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8455/21]

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Niall Collins

Question:

840. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8543/21]

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Bríd Smith

Question:

861. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that published data indicates a Covid-19 mortality rate amongst kidney patients similar to that of residents of long-term facilities; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that expert medical opinion both here and internationally makes a strong case on medical and ethical grounds for the need for all kidney patients to be vaccinated earlier than currently planned; if this extremely at risk group will be moved to the top of the vaccination schedule as a matter of priority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8586/21]

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Niamh Smyth

Question:

862. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter raised in correspondence (details supplied) regarding the vaccination of kidney patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8587/21]

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Barry Cowen

Question:

865. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the published data indicating a Covid-19 case mortality rate amongst kidney patients similar to that of residents of long-term care facilities; if he will take into account the particular vulnerability of kidney patients such as persons on dialysis and kidney transplant recipients and move them into cohort 1 for Covid-19 vaccination; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8592/21]

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Niamh Smyth

Question:

866. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the HSE’s national renal office statement that in-centre haemodialysis patients should be considered similar to persons aged 65 and older who are residents of long-term care facilities in terms of prioritisation for the first wave of Covid-19 vaccination and that such patients are extremely medically vulnerable and have a very high mortality risk; and if he will place these patients in cohort 1 for vaccination against Covid-19. [8593/21]

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Seán Canney

Question:

875. Deputy Seán Canney asked the Minister for Health if he will review the vaccine plan and have kidney patients in group one of the programme due to their particular vulnerability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8648/21]

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David Cullinane

Question:

876. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the disproportionate mortality rates from Covid-19 among kidney patients which is similar to that of residents of long-term care facilities; if the vaccination allocation sequencing has been reviewed with this in mind; if he has engaged with advocates of kidney patients such as an organisation (details supplied) or with the HSE national renal office on the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8650/21]

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Emer Higgins

Question:

899. Deputy Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Health if he will discuss with the national immunisation advisory committee when kidney patients should receive the Covid-19 vaccination and to determine if they and other vulnerable groups should be included in category 3. [8715/21]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

905. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health if he will consider reviewing and categorising kidney transplant recipients and those on kidney transplant waiting lists as a distinct cohort to be considered for a higher priority grouping under the national Covid-19 vaccination programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8736/21]

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Malcolm Noonan

Question:

906. Deputy Malcolm Noonan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the situation regarding kidney patients and the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out programme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8741/21]

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Jackie Cahill

Question:

910. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the HSE’s national renal office statement that in-centre haemodialysis patients should be considered similar to persons aged 65 and older who are residents of long-term care facilities in terms of prioritisation for the first wave of Covid-19 vaccination and those patients are extremely medically vulnerable and have a very high mortality risk; if he will consider placing these patients in cohort 1 for vaccination against Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8752/21]

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Jackie Cahill

Question:

911. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to published data indicating a Covid-19 case mortality rate amongst kidney patients similar to that of residents of long-term care facilities; if he will move them into cohort 1 for Covid-19 vaccination in view of the particular vulnerability of kidney patients such as persons on dialysis and kidney transplant recipients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8753/21]

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Cathal Crowe

Question:

912. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that published data indicates a Covid-19 case mortality rate amongst kidney patients similar to that of residents of long-term care facilities; if kidney patients will be moved into cohort 1 for Covid-19 vaccination given their particular vulnerability, that is, persons on dialysis and kidney transplant recipients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8756/21]

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Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

923. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the HSE’s national renal office statement that in-centre haemodialysis patients should be considered similar to persons aged 65 and older who are residents of long-term care facilities in terms of prioritisation for the first wave of Covid-19 vaccination given that such patients are extremely medically vulnerable and have a very high mortality risk; if he will place these patients in cohort 1 for vaccination against Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8794/21]

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Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

924. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to published data indicating a Covid-19 case mortality rate amongst kidney patients similar to that of residents of long-term care facilities; if on account of the particular vulnerability of kidney patients such as persons on dialysis and kidney transplant recipients will be moved into cohort 1 for Covid-19 vaccination; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8795/21]

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Colm Burke

Question:

938. Deputy Colm Burke asked the Minister for Health if he will consider reviewing the current categorisation of persons who are under 70 years of age but who are receiving treatment for cancer or dialysis and are required to attend hospital on a weekly basis in order that they would be moved forward on the priority list on the Covid-19 vaccination programme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8812/21]

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Dara Calleary

Question:

948. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the HSE national renal office statement that in-centre haemodialysis patients should be considered similar to persons aged 65 and older who are residents of long-term care facilities in terms of prioritisation for the first wave of the Covid-19 vaccination given patients are extremely medically vulnerable and have a very high mortality risk; if this information has been made available to NIAC; if these patients will be placed in cohort 1 for vaccination against Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8868/21]

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Dara Calleary

Question:

949. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health if he has consulted with NIAC on published data indicating a Covid-19 case mortality rate amongst kidney patients similar to that of residents of long-term care facilities; his views on whether NIAC should move such persons into cohort 1 for Covid-19 vaccination given the particular vulnerability of kidney patients, that is, persons on dialysis and kidney transplant recipients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8869/21]

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Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

958. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when it is planned to vaccinate kidney patients between 18 and 64 years of age; if it is planned to give this group a high priority in view of the high risk of Covid-19 to kidney patients of all ages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8925/21]

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Michael Moynihan

Question:

965. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the HSE national renal office statement that in-centre haemodialysis patients should be considered similar to persons aged 65 and older who are residents of long-term care facilities in terms of prioritisation for the first wave of Covid-19 vaccination; if he will place these patients in cohort 1 for vaccination against Covid-19 given such patients are extremely medically vulnerable and have a very high mortality risk; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8936/21]

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Michael Moynihan

Question:

966. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to published data indicating a Covid-19 case mortality rate amongst kidney patients similar to that of residents of long-term care facilities; if he will move them into cohort 1 for Covid-19 vaccination given the particular vulnerability of kidney patients, that is, persons on dialysis and kidney transplant recipients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8937/21]

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Catherine Connolly

Question:

983. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Health his plans to prioritise kidney patients of all ages in the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out plan given the higher death rates among Covid-19 patients with kidney disease than Covid-19 patients in the general population and the fact that over 2,000 in-centre haemodialysis patients must attend hospital care facilities for treatment three times a week which places them at risk of Covid-19 transmission and also renders them unable to self-isolate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8977/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 804, 840, 861, 862, 865, 866, 875, 876, 899, 905, 906, 910 to 912, inclusive, 923, 924, 938, 948, 949, 958, 965, 966 and 983 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.

Vaccine allocation is a matter for my Department 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.

The next group to be vaccinated are those aged 70 and older in the following order: 85 and older, 80-84, 75-79, and 70-74. Vaccination of this group will start in the week beginning the 15th of February.

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.