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‘Gardaí may accept surplus vaccines offered by HSE’ – garda HQ circular

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GARDAI now have clarity that it can receive and administer Covid-19 surplus vaccines from hospitals to its members after instances nationwide which saw local gardai turn down the offer.

In a circular issued to all gardai on Friday and seen by independent.ie, Joseph Nugent, chief administrative officer at Garda HQ, informed all gardai that “garda personnel may accept surplus vaccines offered by the Health Service Executive”.

Well-placed sources say that there have been instances around the country, where hospitals offered surplus vaccines to local garda management, but these were turned down. This was done because gardai did not want to be “appear to be jumping the queue”.

But in other parts of the country, such as in Galway, local gardai did accept the offer.

The source added that the circular now “clarifies the position” that the force is permitted to accept any vaccine offers from hospitals.

“We are on the frontline, we need vaccines and now there is clarity that we can accept them. Some of the recent protests gardai have policed have highlighted how vitally we need vaccines as frontline workers,” said a source.

It emerged earlier this week that Merlin Park University Hospital in Galway have vaccinated dozens of gardai in the last few weeks.

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Medics contacted the regional HQ Garda station just 500 metres away at the end of every day’s vaccination and offer and administered its unused shots to frontline officers. This offer was accepted.

The garda circular on Friday issued to all members of the force continued: “Where offers of surplus Covid-19 vaccines are made to An Garda Siochana, priority shall be afforded to those immediately available for vaccination, with due regard to those in roles most exposed to Covid 19 infection.”

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland


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