Relatives of patients at the Beacon Hospital say they’re angry and disappointed after learning the hospital vaccinated teachers from a private school.
Ireland AM anchor Anna Daly says she's 'really angry' as her own father is a cancer patient at the Dublin hospital and still has 'no idea' when he's getting a vaccine.
It comes after the private hospital today confirmed spare doses had to be used at short notice earlier this week.
While the majority went to HSE staff, hospital management confirmed some were given to teachers.
They said the decision was made under time pressure and with a view to ensuring that the vaccine doses did not go to waste.
The confirmation came after the Irish Daily Mail first reported that the Dublin hospital gave "leftover vaccines" to 20 teachers and staff from St Gerard's school in Bray.
The paper reported that children of Beacon CEO Michael Cullen attend the fee-paying school.
Mr Cullen has apologised for the incident, saying he recognises the decision made by the hospital wasn’t in line with HSE guidelines around the use of leftover vaccines.
He has pledged it won't happen again.
On Lunchtime Live, Andrea heard from listeners who are frustrated and annoyed over the news.
Anna Daly, Ireland AM anchor & creator of sustainable fashion brand Little Bliss, said she was ‘really angry’ when she heard what had happened.
She explained that her father regularly attends the Beacon for treatment for prostate cancer.
She said: “My own dad is 78 years of age… he is a stroke survivor and a cancer patient at the Beacon.
“He has experienced wonderful care and attention and treatment at the Beacon. But I can’t help being really annoyed this morning when I heard that story. He has no idea when he’s going to get the vaccine.
“He’s completely vulnerable and immunocompromised.”
My Dad (78) is a cancer patient in the beacon and there’s no sign of a vaccine for him yet. Look at @aoifstokes below - her mother also awaiting vaccine. This is Ireland where the privileged look after the privileged. #bray #vaccination https://t.co/3Bf1AW4iZ6
— Anna Daly (@daly_anna) March 26, 2021
Anna said she understands there can be leftover supplies of vaccine - but it was ‘embarrassingly elitist’ for a private hospital to focus on vaccinating staff at a private school.
She said there are obvious local options they could have turned to - including schools nearer the hospital.
She noted her own father would have ‘been there in 20 minutes’ if he got a message that a vaccine was available.
"I’m hugely disappointed"
Another caller, Sinead, said her mother is a long-term, non-residential patient at the Beacon.
She said: “I’m hugely disappointed to learn of this today.
“[My mother] wasn’t offered a vaccination, and hasn’t been yet. She’s 73, so we’re just waiting to hear when she will be vaccinated.
“She’s had cancer for a number of years now… she still is undergoing treatment with them. She is very much on their books.”
Sinead said her mother also could have been at the hospital within 10-15 minutes if there was a vaccine available.
She said her mother has had nothing but praise for the treatment she’s received at the hospital.
However, Sinead said the decision to vaccinate teachers ‘seems bizarre’ when many patients are still waiting for their appointment.
Earlier, HSE CEO Paul Reid said he's 'extremely annoyed' that the Beacon gave vaccines to teachers.