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revelations HSE boss says he is 'extremely annoyed' teachers at private school were given vaccines by Beacon Hospital

The boss of the HSE, Paul Reid, has expressed his annoyance and frustration at revelations that teachers at a private school in Bray were given vaccines by the Beacon Hospital. 

Mr Reid said “it cannot be condoned when something like this happens”, referring to how the Dublin hospital gave "leftover vaccines" to 20 teachers and staff from St Gerard's Catholic School.

The private hospital, which is currently being used as a hub to vaccinate frontline healthcare workers, issued the jab to 1,096 HSE staff on Tuesday.

However, they were left with 20 excess doses after a HSE mistake that double booked frontline staff at both the Beacon and the Aviva Stadium.

Within an hour of the school being contacted by the hospital, the staff were at the hospital and all were vaccinated in a short time period.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Mr Reid said hospitals and other facilities have had very clear guidelines since January about how to use leftover vaccine doses.

He said: "There’s actually no ambiguity about how backup lists should be identified and prioritised.

“We do want them to have backup lists as we don’t want vials wasted. But we do expect all services to stick with our prioritisation and sequencing.

He said cases such as this are "beyond frustration" given the guidelines in place.

He said: “I’m extremely annoyed and frustrated… I cannot condone [it]. It does frustrate the public.

“The vial certainly has to be used if they’re open... we all get that.

"But even the preparation for the day does need prioritisation on who you might have on standby… and there are plenty of options, legitimately, around what can be done next.

"I don't believe the case of what happened... can be a legitimate rationale when there are other cohorts that could have been prioritised."

Earlier, Sinn Féin Wicklow TD John Brady said an investigation needs to be launched to find out what exactly happened in this case.

He said: "We need to establish who made the decision... why the decision was made to give the vaccine to teachers in a private school."

A spokesman for the Beacon Hospital said that "there were a small number of leftover vaccines drawn up that needed to be used within a short period of time".

He said: "Late on Tuesday evening, in keeping with the zero-wastage policy, this leftover AstraZeneca vaccine was administered to people within the community," the spokesman said.

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