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Taskforce had 'positive' discussions with Data Protection Commission about vaccine tracking system

A company to provide the IT system is expected to be selected shortly.

Image: Shutterstock

THE GOVERNMENT’S vaccine taskforce had ‘positive’ discussions this week with the Data Protection Commission (DPC) about the proposed IT system which will be used to manage and track the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.

The system will provide the technological infrastructure for self-registration, booking vaccines and vaccine administration.

Yesterday HSE CEO Paul Reid said the taskforce had been assessing the IT solutions to support monitoring and oversight.

“There have been ongoing discussions this week with a range of technology communications companies to support a total end-to-end vaccination process,” he said.

He said it is expected a vendor will be selected “very shortly” so that the configuration process can begin.

“Discussions also took place this week between the chair of the taskforce and members of the Office of the Government CIO [Chief Information Officer] and HSE with the office of the Data Protection Commissioner,” he said. “Discussions proved to be quite positive and quite productive”.

Reid last week said it is realistic that Ireland could start its vaccination programme in early January. 

He said the timeline for vaccination rollout has become a lot clearer with announcements from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that two vaccine developers – Pfizer/BioNTech ad Moderna – had submitted applications for conditional marketing authorisation (CMA).

An extraordinary emergency meeting will take place in relation to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by 29 December at the latest and a similar meeting in relation to the Moderna vaccination will take place on 12 January.

Vaccine hubs

The government’s vaccine taskforce will present its overall strategy to the government today and Cabinet will meet to discuss the report on Tuesday.

It is understood retired doctors and other healthcare professionals who are proficient in administering injections may be asked to help with the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine. Defence Force personnel will also be called in to assist with the rollout.

Vaccine hubs are expected to be set up around the country. Earlier this week, the health minister announced the prioritisation strategy for the Covid-19 vaccines.

Earlier this week, the health minister announced the prioritisation strategy for the Covid-19 vaccines.

Care home residents over the age of 65 and staff at these facilities will receive the vaccine first. Next in line will be frontline healthcare workers in direct patient contact roles, and then those aged 70 and older with people aged 85 and over receiving the vaccine first among that cohort.

Today’s report does not deal with prioritisation but will look at the logistical challenges in vaccinating the Irish population in a relatively short period of time. It aims to set out the entire vaccination process – from procurement to storage to inoculation.

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- With reporting by Christina Finn.

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