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Clare health advocate ‘fuming’ at decision to offer surplus vaccines to Gardaí

QUIN based health advocate, John Wall has called the use of surplus Covid-19 vaccines for Clare and Limerick Gardaí as, “another shocking abuse of trust,” and said he is “fuming” over the  revelation on Thursday that approximately 100 members of the force on ‘standby lists’ received surplus vaccines at the Limerick vaccination centre in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Meelick. 

Mr Wall went on to say this decision was, “yet another shocking abuse of trust we have placed in others to administer the vaccine rollout and a blatant disregard for the medically vulnerable many of whom remain unvaccinated. This is really hard to take.”

He was critical of what the UL Hospitals Group said they considered to be an “appropriate” decision. “The same hospital that made me fight to get a vaccine, were at the very same time doing this. There are tens of thousands of medically vulnerable people begging to be vaccinated. The mismanagement of our rollout programme is of a monumental scale”. He said HSE management tiers were “overseeing one of the most blatantly crooked attempts at providing a public service, that I’ve ever witnessed”.

A spokesperson for UL Hospitals Group confirmed that vaccines were offered to Gardaí in line with national guidance on cohorts and sequencing and that this will not impact the planned roll-out for individuals with underlying medical conditions.

Clare FM are today reporting that 15 of the Gardaí concerned are stationed in County Clare.

A spokesperson for UL Hospitals Group said, “Gardaí, who are considered frontline workers and work closely with our services, are listed on the standby lists, which come into play at the end of a vaccination clinic when there are doses of the vaccine leftover from that day’s timetable”.

An Garda Síochána has confirmed that where offers are made by bodies such as the HSE “that members of An Garda Síochána may accept those offers”.

Meanwhile, President of the Garda Representative Association, Frank Thornton, has told Breakingnews.ie that “the Government has made a balls” of the vaccine rollout programme, which recently saw gardaí lose prioritisation for the vaccine due to their profession.

He said he was due to meet with representatives from NIAC (National Immunisation Advisory Committee) to try to convince them that gardaí should be prioritised for vaccination.

“We are grateful for the offer of vaccines from the HSE and their acknowledgement of our role in suppressing this virus, and long may it continue, anywhere we can get them we’ll take them,” he said.

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