Minister asks HSE to suspend Beacon vaccination programme

Alternative arrangements are being put in place by the HSE.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has asked the HSE to suspend vaccine operations at Dublin’s Beacon Hospital following revelations staff there administered Covid jabs to teachers at a private school.

The privately-owned hospital administered 20 leftover Covid-19 vaccines to a number of teachers at St Gerard's School in Bray, Co Wicklow, it was revealed this week.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Minister Donnelly said that Ireland’s vaccination programme is the most important public health programme in “living memory”. He therefore stated it is “essential: that the programme is run in accordance with the agreed prioritisation in order to maximise the benefit and the speed with which Ireland can emerge from current COVID-19 lockdown measures.

“The provision of vaccines by the Beacon Hospital to a school was entirely inappropriate and completely unacceptable. I have considered this matter carefully and have worked with the HSE to assess the operational implications of suspending vaccine operations at the Beacon Hospital in Dublin,” said Minister Donnelly.

He stated that he has now taken the matter a step further by asking the HSE to suspend vaccine operations at the Beacon Hospital with the exception of those people who have already been scheduled to get their vaccine at the centre.

“Alternative arrangements are being put in place by the HSE. In addition, I have asked the HSE to appoint a senior official to immediately examine what happened and make recommendations regarding any actions or changes required.”

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