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Vaccine wait Dublin great-gran (97) still has no date for Covid-19 jab

"We are not the only family in this position, and it is a wider issue, as to whether there are people being left behind, that might not have a family to speak out for them," her daughter said.

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Marie Brennan (right) pictured with her twin sister who is fully vaccinated

Marie Brennan (right) pictured with her twin sister who is fully vaccinated

Marie Brennan (right) pictured with her twin sister who is fully vaccinated

A 97-year-old great-grandmother who is housebound has still not been given a date to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. 

Marie Brennan from Clontarf in north Dublin is bedridden, and her family are very concerned that despite their best efforts, they are no closer to getting a date for when she will receive the vaccine.

They say that her advanced age, level of frailty and high care needs have added to increased risk of exposure. On any given day she receives hands-on care from up to eight carers, comprising of family support, private and HSE allocated care hours.

Her daughter Emer Peppard said: “We are just looking for a date and clarification from the HSE.”

Her mother has a range of age related health issues, and isn’t mobile any more.

“There are obviously huge complexities with the roll-out of the vaccine, and we understand that,” she said. But given her mother’s age, they would have expected a date for vaccination to be communicated by now.

Ms Brennan was unable to attend a clinic appointment around six weeks ago when her age cohort were being vaccinated, due to her immobility. She has a twin sister who has received both doses of the vaccine, as she could attend a Dublin clinic.

Her family have made contact with the HSE and relevant authorities, as Ms Brennan has been bed ridden for nine months now, and requires a high level of care on a daily basis.

“We are blessed, we do have a large family, she has seven children,” Ms Peppard said. However, the family members caring for her are not vaccinated as they would not fall in the higher up categories to be eligible for vaccination.

However, she pointed out that a bedbound person is more susceptible to a range of illnesses, but particularly respiratory illnesses.

“The amount of people in every day is being kept to an absolute minimum, but it still is a high volume of people. A member of the family would be there every night and staying in the room with her.”

“We are not the only family in this position, and it is a wider issue, as to whether there are people being left behind, that might not have a family to speak out for them,” she pointed out.

Ms Brennan has 19 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Ms Peppard added that Ms Brennan’s GP has been very good to her, and they had received good responses from the local TD’s who are trying to get clarity for them on a date. They are hopeful that this will come soon.

The HSE said that approximately 2,200 people over 70 years who are housebound have been referred for a home vaccination by their GP. To date it has completed 685 first doses.

It said in a statement that the vaccination programme for those aged 70 and over who are house bound is an essential component of its vaccination strategy. “This programme aims to vaccinate individuals 70 years and older who are not normally able to attend the GP practice / primary care centre for clinical reasons and for whom this difficulty with attendance cannot be resolved by providing transport. For many older people who are housebound, GPs provide home visits for vaccination."

The HSE is also providing additional support for the vaccination of people aged 70 years and older who are house bound where this service cannot be provided locally. GP practices have been provided with guidance on the HSE Home Vaccination Programme for over 70s who are housebound, and they have responsibility for referring eligible patients who require this service.

“GPs referring for home vaccination will confirm with eligible patients that they are happy to proceed with vaccination and should inform these patients that they have been referred to be vaccinated through the HSE Home Vaccination Programme.

“This programme of home vaccination will be delivered by HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS) teams. This vaccination programme is occurring in tandem with the general over 70s vaccination programme which is provided by GPs. The programme of home vaccinations for eligible people over 70 years commenced on Saturday March 13 and is continuing.

“Individuals who have been registered for home vaccination will be contacted by the National Ambulance Service (NAS) to schedule an appointment to administer the vaccine. NAS will be contacting all referred individuals over the coming weeks to arrange for their home vaccination.

“The HSE Home Vaccination Service will be provided on a seven day basis. Following vaccination NAS will contact relevant GPs to notify them that vaccination has taken place and to advise of any immediate concerns or side effects experienced by the patient.”

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