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Dublin Fire Brigade at the scene of a fire in August 2019 Leah Farrell/
Fire Up

Most firefighters still unvaccinated as vaccinators wait on more supply

Significant numbers of firefighters are still waiting to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

MOST FIREFIGHTERS STILL need to receive a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as vaccinators wait on more supply to arrive.

Firefighters have raised concerns in the last week that significant numbers have not yet received a vaccine despite their frontline work. 

The National National Ambulance Service, which will administer doses to firefighters, is waiting on a delivery of more vaccines.

Speaking to, the HSE said that “when confirmation of same is received, more DFB staff will be invited to be vaccinated”.

“The National Ambulance Service administered vaccines to Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) staff on several occasions last week,” it said.

“DFB provide pre-hospital care services in Dublin and are therefore a front line healthcare worker.

“Vaccine rollout plans must be flexible to accommodate unforeseen events and to operate in what is an evolving situation internationally,” it said.

Internal communication sent by Dublin Fire Brigade to officers this evening outlined that 240 firefighters were vaccinated between Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.

However, DFB management were informed that “competing demands and vaccine availability resulted in the postponement of the vaccine programme”.

“DFB management have continuously been in touch with HSE seeking clarification, however no allocation has been forthcoming at this time,” they said.

The fire brigade told its staff that it is hopeful of securing a vaccine allocation soon but does not have a confirmed date yet.

“It is anticipated that once vaccines are made available we will consolidate the programme with more personnel vaccinated over a shorter time.”

Siptu understands that doses which had been due to be given to firefighters on Thursday were redirected.

“They were told then that their supply for Thursday, they didn’t get it, it went somewhere else on a HSE level,” Siptu organiser Jim Sheridan told

Councillors have called for Dublin Fire Brigade to be allowed to administer the Covid-19 vaccine to firefighters to speed up its delivery.

Dublin City Councillors are suggesting that firefighters, who are trained as paramedics, be equipped to administer the vaccines within the fire service to speed up the rollout once supply becomes available.

At last night’s Council meeting, Councillor Alison Gilliland said the Council “should be asking that a batch of the vaccines be given to Dublin Fire Brigade and some of their members be trained to give those injections because they’re well able to do that and to organise that for themselves”.

“They do it for the flu injection and I’ve more trust in them than in some of the rollout schedules currently out there.

Tweet by @Cllr. Alison Gilliland #StayHomeStaySafe Cllr. Alison Gilliland #StayHomeStaySafe / Twitter Cllr. Alison Gilliland #StayHomeStaySafe / Twitter / Twitter

Multiple councillors agreed with the suggestion of pushing for the prioritisation of firefighters, which was raised first by Councillor Anthony Flynn, and enabling them to administer vaccines within the fire brigade.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu has written to the HSE with councillors’ concerns on the rollout of vaccines for firefighters.

The council’s chief executive Owen Keegan said that “the reality is that Dublin Fire Brigade are already being prioritised”.

Keegan said he understood that 25% of Dublin Fire Brigade staff had been vaccinated.

Speaking to, Councillor Anthony Flynn said that “fact of the matter is these people are first port of call when a 999 call is made or a response is needed to an ambulance or a patient transfer, so they should be first port of call with regards to rollout”.

“We need to know when [firefighters] are going to be inoculated. They’re working on the frontlines,” Flynn said.

Under Ireland’s rollout programme for Covid-19 vaccines, frontline healthcare workers who have direct contact with patients or who are at risk of being exposed to bodily fluids or aerosols are in the second priority group after residents in long-term care facilities aged 65 and over.

94,000 people have received their first vaccine dose as of Sunday night, according to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.

“I’ve received an update on our vaccination programme and by Sunday night we had given 94,000 vaccines – 71,000 to our frontline healthcare workers and 23,000 to residents and staff of long-term care facilities,” Donnelly said.

He said that Ireland is on track to administer 140,000 doses by the end of this week.

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