Big Laois General Practice will not begin vaccination until March due to the supply system

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Pfizer BioNtech vaccines used in Portlaoise hospital this week

A big General Practice in Laois has advised that it does not expect to begin vaccinating patients aged over 85 until March when it gets supplies of the Moderna or Pfizer BionNTech vaccines.

The Cedar Clinic in Portlaoise has updated the public on its website. It explained that Covid 19 vaccination has now commenced in some General Practices.

"Deliveries to GP surgeries are dependent upon the HSE cold chain and are different throughout the county and the country. This explains why some GP practices may be vaccinating patients before other GP practices. We hope to get a delivery of vaccines from the HSE to vaccinate our patients over 85 years of age on the 2nd March. We will then vaccinate on the 3rd March.

"It is planned that the HSE will deliver vaccines every two weeks thereafter to GP surgeries to facilitate vaccinating the over 80s, then over 75s, then over 70s.  The vaccination will be given strictly in order of priority in accordance with HSE guidelines. We will update this news on a weekly basis so you know when your age group is being vaccinated.

"We will contact you for an appointment. At present we are preparing a list of all our patients over 70 years of age. Thank you for your patience and we will get to you," said the statement.

Dr David Booth is one of the doctors at the clinic on the Mountmellick Road. He explained that the practice was dependent on the cold chain supply system. He added that vaccine is delivered through this system but his practice receives supplies every two weeks with the next delivery not due until early March.

He added that his practice would definitely receive the vaccine but the timing of delivery was outside of the control of himself and his colleagues.

GPs in Laois and many of their staff received their vaccinations at two clinics held in Portlaoise in the past four weeks.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines must be shipped via the cold chain to family doctors in Laois and other parts of Ireland because they must be kept in cold storage.

Doctors had been expecting to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to older people earlier in February. It does not require special storage and shipping treatment but NPHET decided against giving this to those aged 70 and over as it was felt that the other vaccines provide better protection to the elderly.

The new phased system has been agreed with the Irish Medical Organisation and the Irish College of General Practioners.

Covid-19 Coronavirus update:For all information regarding Covid-19 Coronavirus, please consult HSE website www.hse.ie/Coronavirus/