Just 3% of Irish home carers vaccinated against Covid-19 so far
Just 298 of the 10,000 home care workers who care for elderly and vulnerable people in their own homes have been vaccinated to date, according to Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI), the representative body of home care providers.
The worryingly low number of carers vaccinated to date compares to the 77,000+ frontline healthcare workers who have already received their first dose.
Joseph Musgrave, CEO, HCCI, said, “Home carers are being forgotten despite being in daily contact with the elderly and vulnerable, enabling them to remain in the safety of home.
"It is the moral obligation of the State to protect those in our community who most need protection. By failing to vaccinate carers the State is failing in this duty. Home carers are doing a tremendous job - our latest data show that, as of Sunday 24th January, just 193 home care clients, out of 20,000, are currently positive for COVID-19. Home care is proving resilient but we need to do all we can to support home carers’ heroic efforts in keeping the transmission rate as low as it is.
"We understand the tremendous pressures on the vaccine roll out team but we need to vaccinate carers as a priority.”
Musgrave, concluded, “The HSE has a stated policy preference – Home First. Right now, the vaccine programme puts Home Last. This must change, and rapidly. It is indicative that, when trying to select which organisation they work at when registering on the HSE’s system supporting the vaccine rollout, our carers cannot select “Home Care Provider” – only nursing homes, health centres, hospitals etc are listed. This should also change to recognise the critical role carers play as well as facilitating accurate record keeping.”