HSE asked to clarify status of health staff who received first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
Psychiatric nurses to discuss impact of vaccination rollout changes for staff and patients
A health worker prepares to administer a dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination hub in Naples, Italy on Tuesday. Photograph: Ciro Fusco/EPA
The trade union Fórsa has said it has pressed the HSE for clear information to be made available to healthcare staff who have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on the implications of the changes to the vaccination rollout strategy.
Separately, the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said its governing board would be meeting on Thursday to consider the impact of the changes to the vaccination schedule for its members as well as for mental health service users.
The union said it was “monitoring the implications” of the revised rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Thousands of healthcare personnel received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent weeks. Given the 12-week time lag involved, it is understood that none has yet received their second dose.
Trade unions representing staff in the health service are scheduled to have a regular meeting on Wednesday with senior HSE officials about the vaccination programme.
Fórsa said there had been a separate “Covid response meeting” with the HSE on Tuesday at which it raised the question of the implications to changes announced to the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The union said that HSE had informed it that the current situation, and the steps to follow, remained under discussion.
The union said that it had “pressed for clear information to be made available to affected healthcare staff – those who had received dose one of the AstraZeneca vaccine – as soon as possible”.
Fórsa said it was hoping that “some clear answers will be available by Friday, which is when a meeting with the HSE, dealing with clinical issues relating to Covid-19, is scheduled to take place”.
The union said it was “conscious that the latest developments have significant implications, not just for the vaccination of healthcare staff, but for the overall rollout, as there is an immediate consequence on vaccine supply if any of the vaccines are paused at this stage”.