Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

13.13 20 Dec 2020


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The HSE says it is currently recruiting public health staff to facilitate the roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The health service says it has secured funding of over €17m from the Department Health to hire 255 permanent staff.

The HSE says panels have been established for senior medical officers, surveillance assistants, pharmacy and administration staff.

It adds that 230 temporary staff have been appointed in posts across all public health departments.

It follows the publication of a confidential document in the Sunday Independent, which raises serious concerns about the resources available for the national campaign.

The report highlights the need for greater expertise and a worry about the readiness of its IT infrastructures.

According to Monaghan GP Dr Illona Duffy, the findings are not a surprise.

Staff shortages could impact roll-out of vaccination programme - HSE

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She told On The Record with Gavan Reilly: "We know that all our healthcare services are stretched and have continued to be stretched throughout COVID.

"We're going to need public health input into organising the roll-out, obviously there aren't enough public health doctors, nurses etc to do it all.

"We are aware there's talk of training up other nurses to give them vaccines, other healthcare workers to give them and obviously involve GPs and pharmacies."

Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has advised people to "stay home".

It comes after 527 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Ireland yesterday, as well as five additional deaths.

Dr Holohan said on Twitter this morning that coronavirus cases here are "rising quickly".

He added: "We have low cases and deaths compared to EU/UK/US. This is at risk now- just as vaccines arrive.

"To protect yourself and those you love: Stay home. Don’t meet up. Stay away from restaurants/pubs. Avoid crowds. Use masks. Follow health advice."

Main image: The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at Ottawa Hospital in Canada. Picture by: Adrian Wyld/AP/Press Association Images

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