Teachers and SNAs incorrectly given Covid vaccines due to reserve list error – Donnelly

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Teachers and SNAs in Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin South East received vaccines yesterday.

A FAILURE TO follow vaccination reserve list protocols led to teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) in a number of special needs schools in Dublin and Wicklow receiving Covid-19 vaccinations yesterday, according to the Minister for Health.

Stephen Donnelly said the Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) covering the Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin South East area had incorrectly included special needs assistants on its reserve list.

“That’s not something that’s meant to happen. It’s not something that’s happening nationally and it’s not in line with the protocols,” Donnelly told the News at One on RTÉ.

My understanding is that the CHO was trying to do the right thing, trying to make sure that there was a reserve list in place. However, this particular reserve list is not the right way to do it.

The teachers and SNAs were contacted about vaccination appointments after a change to the vaccination rollout schedule meant that they were no longer considered a priority for vaccinations.

Donnelly added that he has asked the HSE for a detailed report on the matter but that he understood no-one was trying to do anything wrong. He added that he did not know if any of the schools were in his constituency.

It comes as all three teachers’ unions passed a motion calling for prioritisation in the vaccination programme and a ballot for industrial action, including strike, if the government does not meet their demands.

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The trade union Fórsa, which represents SNAs, called on the government to clarify the revelations about the special schools in Wicklow, Dún Laoghaire and south-east Dublin.

It said the development was welcome, adding it wanted to see a nationwide rollout “from the health minister’s constituency, to special school-based SNAs nationwide”.

Last week, the union asked the government to review its decision to remove SNAs from the Covid-19 vaccine priority list and to include them under ‘category nine’ of its revised vaccine schedule, which includes people aged 16-64 who work in crowded settings.

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