Thursday, 18 February 2021

Ceisteanna (284, 287, 289, 308)

Mick Barry

Ceist:

284. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Health if patients that are undergoing dialysis treatment and those who are transplant recipients will be treated as categories of persons that would be prioritised in the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines; the position on the priority list for such persons categorised; when they might expect a vaccine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9181/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

287. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9191/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Neasa Hourigan

Ceist:

289. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Health if he will consider prioritising kidney patients on the vaccine priority list. [9194/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

308. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health if he will consider the concerns outlined in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9284/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 284, 287, 289 and 308 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 roll out 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 front line services often caring for the most vulnerable.

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