23 May 2022

Some vaccination appointments offered need to be revised - Cathaoirleach

One resident living within a stone's throw of vaccine hub in Waterford told to travel to Kilkenny

Vaccination appointments offered in Ferrybank and other parts of the county need to be revised according to Cathaoirleach Andrew McGuinness who has said that residents are being told to travel over 60km to be vaccinated rather than being sent to the WIT campus which is on their doorsteps.

The same is happening to some residents in the Callan area who have been given appointments in Nenagh.

“I’ve had numerous complaints from residents in areas like Ferrybank where their Eircode shows they are living in County Kilkenny but the nearest vaccination centre is in County Waterford. One local resident was 60km from the centre in Kilkenny but the centre located at the WIT campus was within a stones throw of her home. It makes no sense to drag people on unnecessary journeys, particularly when they may not have their own transport,” said Cathaoirleach Andrew McGuinness.

“I’ve had another case where a resident in Callan was offered an appointment in Nenagh, 45 minutes from her home, rather than Kilkenny which is less than 15 minutes away. That person has no transport and could not arrange transport to Nenagh. There is a long list of similar cases that I have come across.

“The problem now is that it has become more and more difficult to make contact with the HSE regarding individual cases due to the cyber-attacks. I have made representations on behalf of numerous individuals who find themselves in these situations that make no sense at all. I have also written to Minister Donnelly to highlight the issue.

“Using the Eircodes to decide which vaccination centre is to be used for each individual will always pose problems like this in border towns and villages but I do believe that if a little more detail were required and the use of Google maps or something similar, these problems can be avoided. The vaccination process should be easy for people to avail of but discrepancies like this make it very difficult and stressful for some people. That should be avoided," he said.

“I'd also like to point out that the staff at Cillin Hill are doing a fantastic job. I was recently given a tour of the facility and saw firsthand how professional and efficient the centre is. I want to thank all of the staff that are working around the clock to get the vaccines out. 

The HSE have issued a statement that as part of a planned acceleration of the Covid-19 vaccination roll out in the South East, a number of interim arrangements are being put in place to ensure those in various parts of the region get their first dose vaccination over the coming week instead of waiting for longer.

As a result, people living in a number of areas may be offered appointments for their first dose at a vaccination Centres other than the one local to them. 

A spokesperson said that the HSE apologises for any inconvenience caused but this acceleration measure, which is being implemented to ensure timely administration of the C19 vaccine to all those concerned.

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