Galway GP says stress of vaccine rollout will put him in an "early grave" 1 month ago

Galway GP says stress of vaccine rollout will put him in an "early grave"

The GP was forced to drive around on Saturday night acquiring needles and syringes from his colleagues.

A GP in Galway has said the stress caused by delays in deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines and accompanying needles and syringes will put him "in an early grave".

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Dr Peter Sloane, a GP in Connemara, told Today with Claire Byrne that on 19 February, his surgery got an email asking them to order the Pfizer vaccine, which it did.

Later that afternoon, almost all of his colleagues received large deliveries of the Moderna vaccine, which they had not ordered.

He said his colleagues were shocked to receive the Moderna vaccine, but quickly made plans to deliver them.

However, Dr Sloane's surgery did not receive any vaccine despite having 270 patients over the age of 70.

The GP told the programme: "I was getting eviscerated here personally for why I hadn't vaccinated anybody.

"The truth is I didn't have a drop of vaccine in the fridge."

Dr Sloane told the show he phoned the HSE and on foot of that received a call at 5pm on Friday, 26 February asking if he could take a delivery of 120 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for the next morning.

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He said the delivery was received at 8.30am on Saturday, 27 February and that his staff came in at 11.30am and a vaccine clinic for between 120 and 140 people was organised and a tarpaulin was built outside the practice.

However, things went from bad to worse as by 5.30pm on Saturday evening, he revealed "there was not a sign nor sight of needles or syringes with which to deliver the vaccine despite having been promised and despite having made three phone calls on Saturday".

As a result, Dr. Sloane was forced to drive around Connemara on Saturday night, getting needles and syringes from colleagues.

The GP revealed how a very kind manager in a podiatry unit in Merlin Park Hospital came in, on his own time, to open up the unit to give him needles and syringes.

Dr Sloane later got an email at 9.30pm that night to say an emergency delivery of syringes would be sent at 9am on Sunday morning, with the clinic already planned to open for 10am.

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He said the delivery did arrive at 9.15am on Sunday morning and that 120 people in the local community were vaccinated throughout the day safely and effectively.

However, the GP said he hasn't experienced such stress in a long time.

His surgery received another 30 doses of vaccine on Monday of this week and had 30 more people jabbed by Tuesday.

The doctor called for "absolute clarity", stating there needs to be good communication and confirmation when an order is placed that it will be delivered along with a guarantee that needles and syringes will come with a vaccine.

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He told the show: "GPs are fantastic. We can deliver whatever's asked of us.

"But you can't do it with your arms tied around your back, blindfolded and driving around for needles and syringes at 8pm on Saturday night in the middle of the dark."