Healthcare workers must be prioritised for vaccination boosters

HSE Clondalkin Tallaght

TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has called for healthcare workers to be prioritised for vaccination boosters given the length of time it has been since we commenced the vaccination programme. Teachta Crowe also appealed to the Government to take the issue of long Covid and its effects on those who have recovered from Covid more seriously.
 
Speaking recently in the Dáil, Teachta Crowe said: “The debt of gratitude we owe our frontline healthcare workers is immeasurable. The sacrifices made were immense and the cost has been great. These are people who went into work at a time of great danger, not knowing what they might be exposed to or bring home to their families. This was all done against the backdrop of understaffing and underinvestment by successive Governments, leading to low morale in the health service. “Almost 30,000 healthcare workers have contracted Covid-19 in their attempts to help those afflicted by the virus. There have been almost 400 infections in the past month among nurses and midwives alone. The Government must begin offering booster vaccinations to healthcare workers immediately.
 
“It has been more than six months since many healthcare workers receive their vaccinations and they may have fallen outside the window of effectiveness. We must offer the highest level of protection to those fighting on the front lines. It is the very least we can do. We must also look at how we can recognise particular work and sacrifices of our front-line healthcare workers. We should waive the NMBI registration and retention fees, which are due soon. As a matter of principle, we must pay a fair allowance to student nurses and midwives for the work they do. A fair day’s pay for a day’s work must apply to all.
 
“Staff have been overworked since before the pandemic and have reached a point of exhaustion beyond burnout. As a matter of urgency, the physical and mental health supports for healthcare workers must be ramped up. With hundreds of nurses suffering the lingering effects of long Covid, a pat on the back and a cheery congratulation is insulting and adds to their frustration.
 
“The Government is not taking long Covid seriously. As other countries have moved forward with supports for those who are left with long-term symptoms such as chronic fatigue, pain, and the loss of lung function, the HSE still talks around it. By not saying it out loud, does it think that nurses who can hardly climb a flight of stairs or are losing their hair will somehow get better? At a minimum we need to put in place a clinical definition of ‘long Covid’ and put in place proactive measures to support sufferers in the medium and long term.”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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