"Vaccine delay costing nursing home residents their lives" - TóibínAontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has said that delays and flaws in the rollout of vaccine is costing nursing home residents their lives. He was speaking after Nursing Homes Ireland revealed that only 10% of the 77,000 vaccines administered at the start of January were administered to residents of nursing homes. This information is shocking in the extreme. Most especially as it comes after a year where we saw Nursing Home Residents make up the majority of people who died from Covid. Those most vulnerable have been most exposed to this illness.
“We understand that this process is not easy and that there are many moving parts. But the Ministers interview this morning on Morning Ireland when asked about a time scale in the delivery of vaccines was a studied lesson on not answering the question. The Minister could not have been more nebulous when challenged on the timetable of delivery”.
Deputy Tóibín said: "I have, in recent days, contacted every nursing home in my constituency and beyond to see what's happening at ground level. The horror stories being relayed to me from around the country are deeply upsetting. There are many nursing homes who because of vaccine delay are seeing mass breakouts of Covid and subsequent deaths”.
“Greenpark Nursing Home in Co Galway, 35 out of 49 residents have tested positive. Twelve have died, four in the past two days. In Blackrock Abbey near Dundalk 14 people have died with one man dying just a week after receiving the first dose of the vaccine. There are reports today in my own county of Meath of an out break of 13 people just after vaccinations and the very sad death of one of the residents. Its clear time is a life and death issue for many. Staff shortages are widespread, with nurses and managers frequently taking to Facebook or to local radio stations begging for help in terms of staffing. I know of nursing homes in Wicklow and in Mayo where nursing homes are contacting residents' families to ask if they can come in for a few hours and help with feeding. We are calling for the creation of an Emergency Response Unit made up of Nurses in each province to be able to jump into the gaps that are created when Nursing Home staff have to self-isolate”.
“This is an incredibly sad time. It is a heart-breaking reality that there are many people dying from Covid today, who wouldn't have died, had nursing homes been prioritised properly, or had the vaccine rollout begun the day the vaccines arrived on our shores. Tadhg Daly of Nursing Homes Ireland has revealed that despite the fact that the vaccine arrived on St Stephens' Day, the first vaccinations in private or voluntary nursing homes weren't administered until 7th January. This is a shameful scandal", concluded Deputy Tóibín. We in Aontú have continuously called for an investigation into what has happened in Nursing Homes. The government have refused and clearly learned little.