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GP talks on continuing vaccination rollout near completion – HSE

By Mindo - 26th May 2021

Talks between the HSE, IMO and ICGP on GPs continuing to administer Covid-19 vaccinations are almost complete, according to a HSE spokesperson.

GPs are due to finish vaccinating vulnerable and high risk patients in vaccine allocation groups four and seven in early July.

Some GPs have expressed an interest in continuing to vaccinate patients beyond this point and talks to facilitate this are ongoing, according to IMO GP Chairman Dr Denis MacCauley.

A HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent that it is “making good progress in discussions with the IMO and the ICGP and details regarding GPs continuing the distribution of vaccinations beyond cohorts 4 and 7 are currently being finalised”.

GPs have administered around half of all Covid-19 vaccinations to date. Around 300,000 vaccines were administered last week and by the end of 25 May 2.5 million vaccination doses had been given in Ireland.

As of the 19 May around 45 per cent of the adult Irish population had received their first dose of the vaccine and 16 per cent were fully vaccinated.

It is understood that GPs who wish to continue vaccinating can track national age cohorts once they complete cohort seven. Vaccine supplies provided will be relative to practice population size.

It is not yet known how many GPs will carry on vaccinating but it is expected that large, urban practices will likely continue while single handed and small rural practices may opt out.

This is because many smaller practices were forced to shut down all other GP services when conducting vaccine clinics due to social distancing requirements and the need to observe patients for 15 minutes after receiving their vaccine.

This meant other GP care services were postponed. Several GPs are now keen to focus on non-Covid patient care.

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