Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Ceisteanna (376, 383, 386, 387, 388, 389)

Malcolm Noonan

Ceist:

376. Deputy Malcolm Noonan asked the Minister for Defence if members of the Defence Forces currently deployed on peacekeeping duties to areas of conflict all over the world will be vaccinated against Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10992/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

383. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Defence his plans to ensure Defence Forces personnel fulfilling duties overseas and in areas with high levels of Covid-19 community transmissions will receive the vaccination before embarking on such duties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11700/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Gould

Ceist:

386. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to the fact that members of the Defence Forces who are due to deploy overseas are awaiting vaccination; and when they are due to receive their vaccines, particularly in view of the worrying situation in which a deployment is due to Mali in the next two weeks. [12059/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Sorca Clarke

Ceist:

387. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence when members of the Defence Forces preparing to leave for Mali will receive the Covid-19 vaccination. [12080/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Sorca Clarke

Ceist:

388. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence when members of the Defence Forces preparing to leave for Syria will receive the Covid-19 vaccination. [12081/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Sorca Clarke

Ceist:

389. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence when members of the Defence Forces due to leave for Lebanon will receive the Covid-19 vaccination; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12082/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 376, 383 and 386 to 389, inclusive, together.

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

The Defence Forces has established vaccine prioritisation which is in line with this national allocation strategy. Initial Vaccination priority is for Defence Force personnel who are providing front line support to the HSE and National Ambulance Service in the national effort to combat COVID 19.

Those personnel already deployed on Peacekeeping duties will be vaccinated on their return in accordance with the Defence Force prioritisation within the national allocation strategy.

Personnel selected for deployment to overseas missions over the coming months will fall into a prioritised grouping, and the intention is that they will be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to deployment, subject to availability of the vaccine which is coordinated through the HSE. In this regard, I am advised that the vaccination of Defence Forces personnel due to deploy to the EU Training Mission in Mali later this month has already commenced.