GPs are not to blame for vaccine shortage

SERIOUS issues are emerging with the Covid vaccine roll out at local GP surgeries, with practices across the county struggling to get enough vials to vaccinate their patients.
Some Fermanagh practices have barely been allocated a third of the number of vaccines they need to vaccinate those in the first priority group of the roll out plan, the over 80s, while those who had initially been given a workable allocation have now found themselves without any further deliveries.
Ederney GP Dr Brendan O’Hare said his practice, Western Rural Healthcare, had initially been able to vaccinate all their patients aged 80 years, but in the latest round of vaccinations they had been allocated no vaccines at all.
“However, I am aware that the supplier Montovianto, is holding a large, recently delivered supply with more to follow,” he said, warning the vaccine roll out could not go the same way as previous schemes.
“While I have some sympathy with the Department of Health’s position in wishing to ensure even coverage of the population, I have been involved in initiatives before that proceeded at the rate of the slowest, least organised area of the country. That would be completely unacceptable in this situation.
“It also completely undermines the motivation of enthusiastic teams who cannot even being to organise the next phase of their roll out.”
Some practices have been facing an even tougher situation, and have so far been only able to vaccinate a third of their patients over 80 due to the limited stock they have been supplied with.
Cllr Adam Gannon, pictured right, has been working closely with a number of local GP practices, having been alerted to the issue by patients who had not been able to get vaccinated. He has since discovered it’s a widespread problem across Fermanagh.
“The GPs are working very hard and they could have everyone who needs to be vaccinated, vaccinated at this point, but they haven’t got their deserveful allocation,” he said.
“They obviously want their allocation as quick as possible, and they also want their patients to be aware that it has been uneven, not to the fault of any GP who has done an excellent job.
“It’s not any GP’s fault, it’s however the health service is allocating the vaccines they’re not allocating them in even proportions.”

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