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04 Oct 2022

Relief as vulnerable children in Dundalk secure vaccination appointments

Louth TD describes situation as 'farcical'

Relief as vulnerable children in Dundalk secure vaccination appointments

Relief as vulnerable children in Dundalk secure vaccination appointments

Local families who were unable to secure a priority Covid 19 vaccination for their children with underlying health conditions have received dates for their doses, according to Dundalk TD, Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú.

A number of families in Dundalk contacted the Sinn Féin TD to tell him that they had logged onto the HSE portal for vaccination for their children at the end of December in order to secure a vaccine appointment for their child.

However, the portal was opened for all under 12s before the children who most needed the vaccine received an appointment.

It ended up, the Dundalk TD said, in a "farcical situation" where children with underlying health conditions were still waiting for their appointment, while their peers received theirs within a couple of days.

The Sinn Féin TD said he contacted the HSE about the issue as soon as it was brought to him and the matter was rectified within hours.

The families who had contacted his office received their appointments within a day.

Deputy Ó Murchú said: "It was a worrying time for the parents of the children with underlying health conditions because they had inputted their kids’ details onto the HSE portal but did not receive an appointment.

"When the portal was opened for all aged between five and 12, there was a free for all and those who were not priority because of their health were given appointments for vaccines ahead of children who should have been at the front of the queue.

"The situation has been sorted out but it should not have happened in the first place."

Meanwhile, Deputy Ó Murchú has called on ‘everyone who is eligible’ to get a booster vaccination as soon as possible.

He said: "We have seen over the last ten days that the boosters are working and the incidence of serious illness has been greatly reduced. While the numbers of people with Covid 19 have continued to break records, hospital admissions are not going up at anywhere near the same rate.

"This is a critical week for the State in the battle against Covid 19. Schools are facing into their first full week of term and the government has to match the determination and tenacity of teachers by giving schools all the tools they need to continue the fight against this virus.

"That includes updated and accessible advice, filtration systems, proper masks.

"I reiterate my call for antigen tests to be made more widely and freely available to people who need them. The cost of daily tests for multiple people in a household is a significant and unnecessary burden on families."

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