SIPTU Health representatives attended a meeting with national vaccination team this afternoon (Wednesday, 2nd June)
The following update was received:
- HSE representatives advised the challenges from the recent cyber-attack remain and that inter-department communication within the health service remains a challenge. SIPTU representatives were advised it may take some time for systems to be returned to pre-attack norms.
- Unions raised recent concerns regarding the vaccination of health care workers (HCWs) given the plan to proceed with 2nd dose of AstraZeneca.
- Union representatives were advised the current guidance from NIAC has not changed and HCWs are recommended to take their 2nd dose of AstraZeneca vaccine when called. It was confirmed the recent concerns raised are with NIAC for review and response. The HSE confirmed every effort will be made to assure HCWs on the safety of taking the vaccine being offered to them.
- Union representatives were advised the immediate focus is to complete the second dose vaccination of HCWs over the coming days and weekend.
- Concerns were raised if all vaccination centres have been advised of the reduction in the dose period from 16-12 weeks. The HSE confirmed this clarification will be advised to all sites.
- Unions raised the issue of new employees registering for vaccination given the ‘special email addresses’ set out by each area are compromised by the cyber-attack. The HSE confirmed it is looking at alternatives and will confirm when finalised.
- Unions were advised the centres are completing the over 50’s currently and then start the 49-45 category. 44-40 are allowed to register on the portal from this week.
- Unions asked for clarification when the recent decision of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), for children aged 15-12 to be vaccinated with Pfizer, will be implemented in Ireland and if this will require a reshuffle of Cohorts 4 & 7 (Medical vulnerable) to accommodate children comprehended by this definition. The HSE advised it is seeking guidance on the matter and will revert on this matter
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