Dublin great-grandmother (97) still waiting for vaccine against Covid-19

Marie Brennan from Clontarf is housebound and was unable to her GP last month

 

The family of a 97-year-old Dublin great-grandmother have expressed their frustration over delays in her being vaccinated against Covid-19.

Marie Brennan, from Clontarf, has been waiting since February to be immunised but her family say they have been left in the dark over when this will happen. She has a twin sister who has been fully vaccinated.

“We’ve been ringing everybody, but all we get is stock answers. We feel very let down,” says her daughter, Emer Peppard. “Even if we had a date, that would give us some hope.”

Ms Brennan, who has 19 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, has been bed-bound for the past nine months, and was unable to go in a wheelchair to her GP last month to be vaccinated. Her case was referred to the National Ambulance Service, which has been tasked with administering the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine to housebound patients nationwide.

Almost everyone aged over 85 who wants a vaccine and lives at home or in a nursing home has been vaccinated, with the exception of housebound patients. The HSE says about 647 of these patients have received a first dose, roughly one-third of the overall number.

Although the HSE says the rollout to this category started in the east of the county, Ms Brennan, in Dublin, has yet to be contacted.

Her daughter says the family have been forced to go public in an attempt to expedite her vaccination. “My mam needs 24-hour care, so we have a lot of carers coming in and out and there is a lot of risk. We don’t have the option of cocooning,” Ms Peppard says.

Last week, she was unable to visit her mother after a suspected case in her own workplace.

The Irish Times reported last week that a 105-year-old housebound great-grandmother had been waiting almost three months for her vaccine. Contacted today, her family said the woman is still waiting, and they have been told it may take another two weeks.

The HSE has said the process of administering the vaccine to housebound patients is “labour-intensive” and will take a number of weeks.