1,000 housebound elderly people are still awaiting their first Covid jab | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise
ONE THOUSAND housebound elderly people – many in their nineties – are still awaiting their first Covid-19 vaccination, the Dáil has heard.
t the same time there are 300 people in nursing homes and institutional settings still without a jab.
Many TDs referred to constituents who are in their late 90s and still without an anti-Covid shot – with the oldest a woman aged 101, cited by Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe.
A total of 3,500 very elderly people have been referred to paramedics by GPs, and it is taking much longer than anticipated.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it may be time to “find an alternative” to the National Ambulance Service (NAS), which is charged with giving vaccines to people who are housebound or are living in remote areas.
“I understand how frustrating people must be, not even knowing the date of the vaccine. People get worried that they’re going to be forgotten, entirely, but they won’t be forgotten, they will get their vaccine,” Mr Varadkar said.
He revealed that he has asked for the matter to be on the agenda for the Cabinet subcommittee next week, “because if it’s the case that the NAS is being asked to do too much — and they are being asked to do a lot, whether it’s pop-up testing centres or vaccines in addition to their normal work — perhaps we need to find an alternative.”
“The latest update I have is that there are about 1,000 people who are housebound who are still waiting to receive their vaccine.
“Older people will be receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in most cases, because it’s the easiest one to transport, and that work has been done by the NAS. But it is taking a bit of time,” he said.
Mr Varadkar suggested that the Government next week “could ask local GPs to do the vaccination in the form of a house call, and obviously be remunerated for that. Or could we ask pharmacists to do it.
“If it’s taking this long, perhaps we need to look up an alternative model to assist the NAS, so that they aren’t asked to do it all on their own.”