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Monday, 18th January 2021

Lourdes Maternity staff must be vaccinated as a matter of priority - Munster

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Deputy Imelda Munster.

Deputy Imelda Munster has called on the Minister for Health and the HSE to ensure that all staff at the maternity unit at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda are given the Covid-19 vaccine. Her call comes amid fears that the unit’s vaccinations will not go ahead this week as planned. 

“The vaccinations have been postponed" Deputy Munster said, "and staff have not been advised when the vaccinations will now go ahead.” 

“This morning it emerged that maternity staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital will not now be vaccinated this week as planned. They have not been given any information around a new vaccination date. 

“Under the Vaccination Allocation Sequencing, approved by government and issued by the HSE in the ‘National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme’ frontline healthcare workers in direct patient contact roles are to be to the forefront of the vaccination programme. 

“We have already heard of non-frontline staff receiving vaccines before medical and healthcare staff. Now it seems that while other units at Our Lady of Lourdes are being vaccinated as planned, midwives, nurses and other staff at the maternity unit have no idea when they can expect to be vaccinated. 

“Several members of staff at the unit have been in contact with my office this morning. They are very frustrated and worried that the vaccinations will not go ahead as planned, and this is compounded by the fact that they have not received a new date for vaccination. 

“Staff at the unit are in a position where an increasing number of women attending the unit for care are testing positive for Covid-19. The sick leave rate amongst staff due to Covid-19 and close contacts is already very high. 

“Despite the extremely difficult working environment, staff continue to work very hard to provide safe care to all mothers and babies in the unit, under very difficult circumstances, and feel very frustrated and upset that the vaccinations will not go ahead this week as planned, with no clear strategy in place. 

“Staff are understandably very worried about catching the virus, and bringing it home to their families. 

“I wrote to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, and to the HSE seeking an explanation as to why the planned vaccinations will not go ahead, and when staff will be given a new date for vaccinations. I will be following up on this matter every day until it is resolved.” 

Drogheda Life sought a comment from the HSE on this issue and they redirected us to the RCSI Hospitals Group who manage the Lourdes Hospital but at the time of publishing they had not made any comment.

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