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Gardaí should be made 'high priority' for vaccine says representative association president

A significant number of gardaí are currently self-isolating.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

THE NEWLY-APPOINTED president of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) has called for members of the force to be made one of the high priority groups for the vaccine. 

Frank Thornton said he and his organisation have received multiple reports from serving gardaí who have either contracted the disease or who are self-isolating as a result of their colleagues becoming infected. 

Thornton said the significant increase in the number of cases nationwide has shown the “increased danger of exposure faced by our members and their families”.

He said it also points to the risk of resources being stretched at a time when the need for gardaí to police the pandemic has increased.

“With plans to vaccinate up to 135,000 people by the end of February, and a month-long lag in full efficacy, it is imperative that frontline gardaí are given the protection of the vaccine as soon as possible.

“Early vaccination will reduce the numbers of gardaí forced to isolate and ensure they remain available to protect communities around the country. It will also fulfil the employer duty of care to our members as working people,” he added. 

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Yesterday, 5,325 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed here bringing the total number of people infected since the outbreak began to 113,322.

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