Parkinson’s sufferer ‘disappointed’ vaccine appointment cancelled

Former FF councillor had been due to receive his first AstraZeneca vaccine dose today

Cavan man Paddy Conaty (68) ‘was looking forward to at last getting a bit of a breather’.

Cavan man Paddy Conaty (68) ‘was looking forward to at last getting a bit of a breather’.

 

Paddy Conaty (68) was “very disappointed” when his appointment for the AstraZeneca vaccine was cancelled due to a change of recommendation from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac).

The Cavan resident, who has had Parkinson’s disease for 35 years, was due to receive his first vaccine dose on Tuesday, as his condition puts him at high risk of serious illness if he were to catch coronavirus.

“I was looking forward to at last getting a bit of a breather,” he said. “I have been cooped up for the last 12 months trying to keep out of everybody’s way.”

Having geared himself up mentally to get the jab at the mass vaccination centre at Drogheda’s Institute of Further Education, he said: “Naturally enough there is a disappointment when it is cancelled.”

Mr Conaty “can understand” why there was some caution but he wondered why there had to be a “blanket close-down” of AstraZeneca vaccinations when the new recommendation was made.

‘Not nervous’

On Monday evening, the Health Service Executive told hospital groups and other vaccinators to cancel vaccination clinics planned for Tuesday, and on Wednesday remaining appointments for the AstraZeneca jab this week were called off.

Mr Conaty hopes people with underlying conditions whose appointments have been cancelled will be first in line for rescheduling.

A retired chief ambulance officer and former Fianna Fáil councillor, Mr Conaty has no qualms about receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, whose links to very rare cases of serious blood clotting are under investigation. “I am not nervous about it. No matter what you take there is a risk to it . . . What has kept me going with Parkinson’s over the years is taking risks with medication,” he said.