Fine Gael Spokesperson on Health, Colm Burke, TD, has said home-helps and other caregivers need to be vaccinated as a priority to protect older and vulnerable people living at home.
Deputy Burke, who is a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, was speaking following progress on vaccination of 1,200 healthcare providers in one clinic in South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital over the weekend which was operated by staff volunteers. Those receiving the vaccine included hospital staff, GPs and practice staff, National Ambulance Paramedics, Public Health Nurses and others involved in healthcare.
Deputy Burke said: “The vaccinations clinic, operated voluntarily by staff of the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital throughout this weekend, has enabled 1,200 healthcare providers to be vaccinated which is protecting both patients and the healthcare workers and their families.
“The ability to be vaccinated locally and speedily is a great reassurance to frontline providers who continue to work diligently caring for patients during this very difficult and challenging phase of the Pandemic.
“It would also be reassuring, however, if the HSE could include home-help workers and other caregivers as a priority group for vaccinations. Home-help workers provide essential care and support for vulnerable, older people in their homes with older people often being visited by several different people each day.
“By vaccinating home-help workers and other caregivers we can protect older people and prevent hospitalisations. It would also provide reassurance to older people living independently at home and their families as well as the home-help staff and other caregivers on whom so many people depend daily,” added Deputy Burke.