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Beacon Hospital offered Covid vaccines to teachers in 'good faith', report finds

The board of the hospital said it retains confidence in its CEO Michael Cullen.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Sasko Lazarov

THE DECISION BY the Beacon Hospital to provide vaccines to teachers at a school in Bray was incorrect, but was made in good faith, a report commissioned by the board of the facility has found.

The review found that proper procedures were not followed in giving the excess vaccine doses to teachers from St Gerard’s School.

The hospital was the focus of controversy earlier this year after it emerged that it had administered 20 leftover Covid-19 vaccines to a number of teachers at the private school in Wicklow.

Following the publication of the review, the board of the hospital said it retains confidence in its CEO Michael Cullen.

The review found that, on the day that the teachers received the jabs, a decision was made to pierce five vials of AstraZeneca vaccine so that around 80 doses in syringes were available to use.

It said that the decision to pierce the five vials was done in the “mistaken belief” as to the final check-in time for the vaccine clinic that day, and that there were a sufficient number of healthcare workers expected for vaccination that day.

“The Board has considered all the facts that led to the situation arising – including the decisions that were made by clinical and operational staff overseeing the clinic that day, the high volume of ‘no shows,’ and the information re: potential vaccine wastage that was shared with the CEO after the last scheduled appointments of the day,” the board of the hospital said in a statement.

“Having considered these facts, the Board accepts the view of the Independent Reviewer that while the basis on which the decision was made to contact the school was incorrect, it was made in good faith,” it added.

The Wicklow school also faced criticism after it was embroiled in the vaccine controversy. It subsequently issued a letter to parents saying it “sincerely apologised” for its role in the incident.

St Gerard’s said it had been approached by the CEO of the Beacon Hospital and was assured that using the vaccines in order to avoid waste was sanctioned by the HSE.

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Céimin Burke

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