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Two family members of staff at second Dublin hospital received Covid-19 vaccine

It comes a similar controversy at the Coombe Hospital was reported last night.

The Rotunda Hospital (file photo)
The Rotunda Hospital (file photo)
Image: Google Street View

TWO FAMILY MEMBERS of staff at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin received Covid-19 vaccines which it says would have been wasted otherwise.

It comes after a similar controversy at the Coombe Hospital, after it emerged that 16 people, including family members of hospital staff, received leftover Covid-19 vaccines.

A total of 37 people received the vaccine from remnants of vials delivered to the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin which were intended for its staff.

In a statement on Monday, the Rotunda Hospital said it received 93 vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on 6 January.

Each vial contains six doses, and the statement said “every one of these six doses were administered to staff working at the Rotunda”.

However, excess doses of the vaccine left in the vials were subsequently administered to the community.

The statement said: “These remnants would have expired within a number of hours, if not used, and would have been discarded.

“Rather than wasting any vaccine whatsoever, and following immediate discussion with leadership at the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), the Rotunda requested expressions of interest from the local community, who could attend the hospital within an hour, prior to expiry of these vaccines, and who would be willing to accept these unapproved vaccine remnants.

“Thirty-seven people, including local GPs and members of other vulnerable groups, agreed to attend and to avail of the non-approved vaccine remnants.

“The Rotunda is of the view, and is supported by NIAC, that this was the morally correct thing to do and a wholly appropriate response in the setting of a pandemic, such that no vaccine was wasted and the maximum good was achieved.”

It is understood that two family members of staff at the hospital were among those in the vulnerable groups who received the excess doses.

The statement added: “It must be noted that even if Rotunda staff could attend at short notice to receive the vaccine remnants, the hospital was not approved to administer it to them.

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“Equally, the 37 non-Rotunda personnel who received the vaccines did so in the full knowledge they were receiving a non-approved vaccine remnant.”

Earlier, health minister Stephen Donnelly asked bosses at the Coombe hospital in Dublin for a “full account” after it emerged that vaccinations were given to family members of staff.

Of the 16 recipients, nine were over 70 and the remaining seven were of varying age.

The board of the hospital is meeting this evening to discuss the controversy.

Contains reporting from Stephen McDermott.

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