The most ‘vulnerable’ are being left down by the HSE amid the slow roll-out of COVID-19 booster shot across the county according to spokesperson for St Mary of the Angels Parents and Relatives Association (SMOA), Jack Fitzpatrick.
Amid increasing cases across the country and in Kerry he feels that those living in the residential settings including St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort should be prioritised for booster shots. His call comes as the centre has a number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among both staff and patients.
Currently the booster roll-out is according to age categories but the slow pace of the programme has been criticised particularly the roll-out to health staff including those working in hospitals and residential settings.
Following the confirmation of positive cases at the centre last week, Mr Fitzpatrick, said that the the boosters shots must be given as soon as possible to residents and staff at St Mary of the Angels. The St John of God Centre has about 75 residents.
Last November an outbreak of Covid-19 at the centre resulted in at least eight positive cases at the centre including staff and residents and at least one person was hospitalised.
“The residents here have a fierce high risk of contracting the virus. They are vulnerable. They need to get the booster shots as soon as possible.”
Kerry Cork Community Health-Care who are leading the roll-out said that the roll-out is underway in line with National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) advice and Government direction.
"Covid-19 boosters have been offered to the majority of residents aged 65 and over in residential centres across Kerry. In a small number of cases, some residents may not have been eligible for vaccination (for example, due to a recent Covid-19 infection). We have a process in place to ensure that any resident who hasn’t yet been vaccinated but who is now in a position to be vaccinated can receive their booster,” the said in a statement.
The booster campaign is now open to young cohorts and is beginning to be rolled to those under 60 in residential settings.
Kerry Cork Community Healthcare also said that vaccinations for healthcare workers are currently underway at Kerry Vaccination Centres, as well as third doses of a Covid-19 vaccine for the immuno-compromised.