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Relatives of gardaí received excess vaccines from a Kildare clinic

Serving gardaí had been permitted to accept excess vaccines since March.

THE FAMILY MEMBERS of gardaí based in a County Kildare station were given vaccines by a medical centre, The Journal has learned.

A senior garda source has confirmed that a local clinic contacted a station in the county where four members of various ranks were offered leftover vaccine doses at a GP’s surgery.

Some of the members travelled to the surgery in the company of their family members and received the doses.

The clinic then decided to offer the vaccine to family members who were with some of the members.

“There were three vaccines left over and the family members of the gardaí were offered them by the staff of the centre. It was not decided by gardaí who should get the vaccine but by the clinic,” the garda source explained.

The Garda Press Office confirmed the incident took place and reiterated that it was a matter for the individual clinic.

“The rollout and administration of the Covid-19 vaccine is a matter for the HSE,” a statement said.

“An Garda Síochána has confirmed that where offers of surplus vaccine are made by the Health Service Executive, or its agents, that members of An Garda Síochána may accept those offers.”

The station in question, the statement said, was contacted by the clinic “in relation to a specific number of vaccines”.

“Sworn members of An Garda Síochána availed of that specific number. 

“Any further allocation of vaccines is a matter for the Medical Practice and/or HSE.”

It’s understood several rank-and-file gardaí have expressed frustration at the fact that non-garda members received the vaccines ahead of operational members who were on duty.

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Gardaí were given permission to accept leftover doses in a move confirmed by Garda HQ last month. This involved surgeries and other medical facilities contacting gardaí to offer them.

The plan, as revealed by The Journal, allowed for serving garda members to receive the vaccines.

In late March a letter issued by Garda headquarters stated that gardaí were to be permitted to accept any surplus vaccines if they are offered to take them by the Health Service Executive.

Garda representative bodies, GRA and AGSI, have consistently expressed frustration that members of the force did not know when they would be vaccinated, despite many working on the frontline during the pandemic.

“Frontline” gardaí and those who are medically vulnerable were to be prioritised as part of the plan. 

About the author:

Niall O'Connor and Garreth MacNamee

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