The ‘ High Level “ Covid 19 Government Task force handed over its much awaited report on how Covid 19 Vaccines will be rolled out in Ireland as they reach approval .
People with disabilities and their carers are not considered by the task Force in both its strategy and implementation plan and today 15 organisations have written to the Government demanding that the report is amended to include this high risk group.
The planning for this roll-out did not start until November 11th with the establishment of the High Level Task Force with the HSE slow to engage with organisations who have cocooned for the past 10 months .
The report talks about Vaccine Hubs with Doctors , Nurses and Pharmacists administering the vaccines .While the report talks about Vaccine Centres none are identified and no contracts are signed to open these centres .
While the Logistical plan attached to the report is full of detail and has a strong emphasis on communications the Task Force and the HSE have failed to engaged with GPs and Pharmacists about the implementation process, as yet and along with the proposal to create a new online platform to register all those who take the Vaccine by the end of 2020 raises questions about the targets set by the Task Force in it’s strategy .
When it comes to who will get the Vaccines and when the most glaring omission in the report is how and when will people with disabilities and their carers will receive Vaccines, indeed the implementation plan completely ignores people with disabilities and carers and groups them into the vaccine lists by age profile .
While we agree that people over 80 and Healthcare frontline staff are rightly top of the list, we are very concerned that it appears that yet again the State has ignored people with disabilities and carers , we are not surprised to see this happen as it follows a pattern of behaviour since Covid 19 arrived in March ,with services withdrawn ,specialists staff removed from disability services and respite and assessments canceled .
The Government have advised Don’t Leave them Behind that this list is a work-in-progress and a movable document and we have demanded that the Task Force amended this list to incorporate people with disabilities and their carers at an early stage of the administering of Vaccines.