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GPs angry at the lack of promised Covid jab booking system

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GPs want vaccinating soon

GPs want vaccinating soon

GPs want vaccinating soon

A row has broken out over delays in offering the Covid-19 vaccine to GPs who are in the frontline of patient care as thousands of people test positive for the virus.

Worried GPs have warned they have been overlooked for access to the Covid-19 vaccine despite being at risk of contracting the virus.

It comes as a key tool in the HSE's Covid-19 vaccine plan has suffered a setback after a new online system to allow GPs to register to get the jab for themselves failed to get up and running yesterday.

Members of the public will be asked to use the same portal in a number of months when there is more vaccines for the wider population.

The plan was to launch the portal first for GPs most of whom are still without the first dose of the vaccine despite working in the frontline.

However, the failure of the portal to materialise has left family doctors angry and frustrated.

Drogheda GP Dr Ruairi Hanley said: "GPs and practice nurses must be immunised as soon as possible.

Millions

"This is not just for their sake and the sake of their patients but also because in a matter of weeks the AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive and GPs will be expected to immunise millions of people.

"How can they do that if many of them become infected?

The first people you should vaccinate are the vaccinators.

"It is a basic principle that the HSE is apparently struggling to grasp."

"Some GPs have managed to get vaccinated thanks to the generosity of local hospitals on an ad hoc basis.

"Basically they had some spare vaccines.

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"Local GPs took some initiative and they got sorted out. Well done to all involved."

But while most welcome it, this spontaneous, haphazard approach is clearly not a coordinated plan.

"Other GPs in other parts of the country are still waiting for clarity as are their nurses.

"All hospitals should immediately be given the necessary supplies to vaccinate all GPs and their nurses in their respective areas as a matter of urgency."

There is also frustration at claims that some HSE backroom staff and retired doctors have received the vaccine in advance of frontline health workers.

Asked if backroom health staff and retired medics were vaccinated before frontline workers the HSE said it has no specific accounts of deviation from a reasonable approach to prioritisation.

But if any specific incidents of inappropriate prioritisation for vaccine are identified this will be addressed.

"The HSE is considering developing principles to guide prioritisation for the healthcare worker vaccination programmes," said a spokeswoman.

"These principles will form the basis for detailed guidance.

Exposure

"Broadly speaking the principles will be that priority is based on the exposure risk in the context of the work done by the healthcare worker and will not be based on grade or work location."

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