Vaccinations for people confined to home
Sir, – The National Ambulance Service has been designated to provide at-home Covid vaccination to people who cannot attend a vaccine centre, but this service is just not working. Desperate callers to the airwaves describe the reality of relatives confined to their houses anxiously waiting for their vaccinations. I do not have a blanket solution for these delays, but I do have a proposal that would help.
I am a recently retired GP and know many similar medics who have multiple years of experience giving vaccinations. There are some hundreds of these doctors, scattered all around the country.
This cohort could be organised to call to people confined to home and vaccinate them. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be ideal, and by the time the details of this service were organised it should be available. One injection only, given by an experienced practitioner. If it is not available, then I would suggest the AstraZeneca vaccine. The logistics of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines would be too problematic.
Each doctor, working in their own locality, could collect a vaccine pack from a health board office. Allowing for driving and parking, and 30 minutes with each patient, between 10 and 12 vaccines could be given each day. Yes, it is not that many, but the ambulance service cannot be any more efficient. Furthermore, this would allow ambulance personnel to return to their own essential duties.
Of course objections will arise – insurance, litigation and so on, but these can be overcome. Time is of the essence. I believe this to be a realistic and achievable proposal, but it would need urgent sanction and development.
Those doctors I have spoken to are highly enthusiastic to contribute, as, I am sure, are so many others. – Yours, etc,
Dr JOHN O’KEEFFE,