By Dan Walsh
New Ross Fianna Fáil Cllr Michael Sheehan has called on the HSE and the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, to call up the civil authorities to assist in the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccines because he believes using “just GP’s and pharmacies is too expensive and too limited.”
“I believe that we are all in this together but the agreed usage of GP’s and pharmacists to deliver the vaccine is too restrictive and to be frank, far too expensive. €91 million of taxpayers money is far too expensive when I know the programme can be delivered far cheaper and effective for a fraction of that cost.”
Currently, people are waiting to six weeks for an appointment from their GP, if they are already that stretched, then the imposition of a vaccine surely is too much for them alone. How will they be able to deliver the vaccines without displacing existing patients and appointments, therefore the civil organisations who are in every community should be mobilised, trained and set to work.
Speaking to WexfordLocal.com, Cllr Sheehan said several organisations across the nation with minimal effort could be retrained, repurposed and engaged to get the vaccine out in the communities. “We should use the time now to get organisations like Civil Defence, Order of Malta ready for when we have upscaled the volume of vaccines available. They are experts at what they do and are already prepared in the administration of needles and ready to answer the HSE’s call.”
Cllr Sheehan pointed out that community organisations operate under the umbrella of County Councils, and have the logistical experience, resources and the ‘know-how’ to roll out the vaccination throughout the communities simultaneously.
Cllr Sheehan believes that savings should be used to pay nurses wages, pay off nurses’ student debts, their registration fees and provide a greater defence of the frontline staff.