Covid-19 vaccines taken out of Coombe hospital to give to family members
An independent review into how family members of employees at the Dublin maternity hospital received vaccines was published on Thursday.
The Coombe hospital in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
April 01 2021 06:17 PM
A member of staff at the Coombe hospital took away Covid-19 vaccines to administer to relatives, an independent review has found.
The board of the hospital admitted “mistakes” were made when the decision was taken to vaccinate family of members of staff and that “lessons must and will be learnt” to ensure it does not happen again.
It emerged in January that 16 relatives of employees at the Dublin hospital received doses on January 8 after 1,100 frontline healthcare workers were vaccinated.
The board ordered an independent review to be conducted after the issue came to light.
It was carried out by Brian Kennedy SC.
The review, which was published on Thursday, found 16 vaccines were administered across eight families “who otherwise would not have been eligible” to receive the jab at the time.
Despite the mitigating factors, and the overall success of the vaccine programme, the board is disappointed that 16 family members were vaccinated with leftover vaccines.
It also found that two vaccines were administered off-site.
Nine of the recipients were over 70 and the remaining seven were of varying age.
In a statement on Thursday having analysed the findings of the review, the board said it takes the matter “extremely seriously” and “key actions and measures” are being implemented to ensure a similar incident does not occur.
The chairwoman of the board, Mary Donovan, said: “Despite the mitigating factors, and the overall success of the vaccine programme, the board is disappointed that 16 family members were vaccinated with leftover vaccines.
“This should not have happened.
“We are also concerned that in the case of one family, two vaccinations occurred off-site.
“Again, this should not have happened.”
The board said guidelines in respect of the priority list for vaccination were followed at all times “save for 16 doses administered to the families of some Hospital staff on the night of Friday 8th January”.
“These doses were administered after hospital personnel formed the view that no other frontline staff were immediately available for vaccination.
“The Clinical Guidance then available stated that leftover vaccines were to be discarded, although the subsequent Sequencing Guidance, which post-dated the first round of vaccinations at the hospital, stated that no doses were to be wasted.”
The incident happened before the HSE put in place standby lists of healthcare workers, available at short notice, to ensure doses of Covid-19 vaccines that are about to expire are used.
The Coombe hospital is not the only hospital to find itself at the centre of a controversy over the rollout of coronavirus vaccines.
An independent investigation into the Beacon Hospital in Dublin has been initiated after it emerged the private hospital used spare jabs to vaccinate teachers from an exclusive school.
Earlier this year it was revealed that two relatives of staff at the Rotunda maternity hospital in the capital received Covid-19 vaccines which it said would have been wasted otherwise.