HSE confirms IT issue causing multiple booster vaccine appointments
It comes after concerns this week regarding no-shows at appointments for booster vaccines.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed that an IT issue is causing multiple booster vaccine appointments.
It comes as, earlier in the week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told the Dáil that 208,000 appointments were offered to eligible people in the week beginning 22 November, but only 80,000 of those arrived to receive the booster.
He also said 180,000 appointments were offered last week, but only 93,000 people turned up.
In a statement on Thursday (9 December), the HSE said that in order to give people maximum opportunity to get a booster and to make use of all capacity in the programme, it is using vaccination Centres, GPs and pharmacies as vaccination channels.
"This can mean that people will occasionally get appointments from multiple sources, or indeed after already been vaccinated," it said.
"While steps have been taken to minimise this, it is inevitable this will occur but our priority is to ensure we give people maximum choices to get vaccinated."
The HSE also said it has continued to improve the IT system that operates for the vaccination programme, but added:
"As GP and pharmacies operate on different IT systems there may be a gap in notification of the vaccination which can, from time to time, result in multiple appointments.
"Once the vaccination is put on the system, any previous appointments issued from the vaccination centres will be cancelled by the HSE."
However, on top of the IT issue, the health service said it is "clear" that it is taking longer to vaccinate people in some cohorts, compared to the primary vaccination programme.
"This is evident in lower attendance rates at both scheduled clinics, and at our walk-in clinics," the HSE explained.
"Even allowing for acknowledged issues with notification across the different vaccination systems, it is evident that it is taking longer for people to attend for the booster vaccination."
The health service urged the public to take their booster appointment when offered if at all possible.
For those who wish to cancel an appointment, they have these three options:
- Text message stating NEW (if you want to reschedule) or REJECT (if vaccinated or do not want to take up the booster)
- Complete an online form here
- Telephone HSELive
The HSE's Covid vaccination programme has administered over one million additional doses to date, including booster and immunocompromised vaccines.
The programme is currently in the top four in Europe in terms of the number of people vaccinated per 100,000 people.