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Vaccine Update: Vaccination programme numbers questioned after incredible HSE blunder

The integrity of the vaccination programme has been called into question after a Daily Mail investigation has shown that the staff vaccination booking system used by the HSE was “abused”. The booking system did not ask those who used it to show that they were employees of the HSE, and verification was not sought at any later point, meaning that anyone with a link to the portal could have used it to get vaccinated at the same time as front-line medical staff. The HSE told the Daily Mail that it did not know the occupation of 25% of those who it had vaccinated.

This is on top of widespread reports that non-frontline staff within the HSE have been receiving vaccinations.

235,418 first doses have currently been administered to Cohort 2, “frontline healthcare workers”. That would indicate the HSE vaccinated 58,854 people without due diligence. Assuming those people received second doses at the same rate as the rest of Cohort 2 there are been 81,963 vaccines administered to people the HSE cannot show are frontline healthcare workers.

Some of that number may be HSE staff who simply failed to list their occupation, but similarly it is possible that some of those who told the HSE they worked in particular occupations may simply have lied.

The Beacon Hospital was recently removed from the vaccination programme after questions were raised about 20 vaccines it administered to schoolteachers after a separate HSE blunder caused hundreds of people to be double booked for vaccination appointments. Due to the blunder 200 people failed to appear for their vaccination appointments in the Beacon.

The total number of doses administered, as of the 9298th, was 819,676, with 590,688 of those being the 1st dose, and 228,988 of those being 2nd doses. The average number of doses administered per day, over the last seven days, is now 18,082.

The Government has only two days left in which to administer 430,324 vaccines if they plan to hit their original target of administering 1.25m vaccines by the end of March.

We would need to administer 215,162 vaccines on Tuesday the 30th and Wednesday the 31st of March to achieve that number.

It appears clear that we will miss the March target by a rather substantial amount, most likely somewhere in the region of 350-400,000 vaccinations.

The Government has blamed this on supply issues, and that is certainly part of the issue, but HSE figures show that, as of Sunday the 21st we had received 855,360 vaccines, and more should have arrived since then. Some of those vaccines are being held in reserve, but it appears likely that some unknown quantity, perhaps shortages in syringes, is also slowing down vaccination.

Monday the 15th of February saw GPs begin to administer vaccines to people aged 85 and older, who are part of “Cohort 3” in the Government’s vaccination schedule. The CSO estimates that there are 490,000 people to be vaccinated in Cohort 3, which also includes those 70 and older who are not in long-term residential care.  227,207 of these had received their first dose as of the 29th of March.

24,962 vaccines have been administered to people in Cohort 4 as of the 29th of March. Cohort 4 consists of those “Aged 16-69 at Very High Risk.”

Daily reporting of vaccinating numbers only goes back to the 3rd of February, meaning that the 9th of February is the earliest day from which we can show total doses administered over a seven-day period. On the 9th of February, the daily average number of doses administered was 5,642, with 39,495 doses having been administered between the 3rd and the 9th.

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