We call for all patients with chronic and rare conditions, vulnerable persons, and their families and carers, to be prioritised for vaccine boosters at the earliest opportunity.
A joint letter from 15 patient organisation and vulnerable group representatives to the Government, High-Level Task Force, NPHET and NIAC representatives charged with advising and deciding on the roll-out of the national vaccine booster plan
In December 2020, and again in February 2021, we drew your attention to the specific plight of individuals with chronic and/or rare conditions which places them at higher risk of severe illness or death upon contracting COVID-19.
We appreciate that a number of patient communities have already been prioritised for additional immunisation and that they are currently receiving their booster vaccines. However, there are other vulnerable individuals who have not yet been added to the list, and who will need to receive a third vaccine to have any quality of life in the months ahead.
We approach you now to highlight their ongoing vulnerability, and to request that you – as advisors and decision-makers – work together to prioritise the roll out of booster vaccines to these individuals, and to the families and carers which provide for their essential daily health and wellbeing.
We believe this is not a position which requires much convincing. The evidence highlighting the improved protection from the worst impacts of COVID-19 offered by third vaccine are well known, and several Governments have already taken action. We ask that you too act on this evidence in a timely and coordinated manner which avoids adding undue stress on individuals who are already managing serious health conditions.
We highlight that due to their prioritisation in the earlier vaccination roll outs, some of these individuals will have received a non-mRNA vaccine. We also underline that many of these individuals will need to receive ongoing treatment for their conditions, and they will need to be able to access this care in as safe a way as possible. They will need to feel confident that they are protected to avoid cancelling or postponing important appointments and procedures.
We are happy to support you in your efforts to reach this community of individuals and to encourage them to come forward for booster vaccinations.
We remain available for further discussion or clarification.
- Geraldine Kelly, Chief Executive, Alpha 1 Foundation Ireland
- Michael Rynne, Steering Committee, CLL Ireland
- Joan Johnston, National Coordinator, COPD Ireland
- Neil Johnson, Chief Executive, Croi, West of Ireland Cardiac & Stroke
- Philip Watt, Chief Executive, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland
- Kieran O’Leary, Chief Executive, Diabetes Ireland
- John Dunne, Chief Executive, Family Carers Ireland
- Derick Mitchell, Chief Executive, IPPOSI
- Rachel Morrogh, Director of Advocacy, Irish Cancer Society
- Chris Macey, Head of Advocacy, Irish Heart Foundation
- Colin White, National Advocacy and Projects, Irish Kidney Association
- Elaine McDonnell, Chief Executive, Muscular Dystrophy Ireland
- Magdalen Rogers, Executive Director, Neurological Alliance of Ireland
- Vicky McGrath, Chief Executive, Rare Diseases Ireland
- Suzanne McCormack, Chief Executive, Irish Thoracic Society