'Please don't pressurise your GP': Public urged to be patient with GPs during vaccine rollout 

'Please don't pressurise your GP': Public urged to be patient with GPs during vaccine rollout 

GPs have urged the public to be patient in seeking appointments and to understand that there are longer delays due to the extra workload caused by the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Pic; Larry Cummins

GPs have urged the public to be patient in seeking appointments and to understand that they have no discretion in deciding the order of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

In a statement, the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) said that most GP practices have been heavily involved in the preparation and delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout to the elderly, and to vulnerable patients with high-risk conditions.

The ICGP said that there have been several last-minute changes to the rollout plans and difficulties with supply and deliveries.

"This has led to a huge increase in workload for practice staff and GPs in managing the vaccination rollout alongside the usual day-to-day demands."

GPs are asking the public to be patient when making appointments and not to phone GPs for information about the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout to over 60s.

Dr Nuala O’Connor, the ICGP’s Clinical Lead on COVID-19 said that they understand patients are anxious, but they are dealing with uncertainty and changes to the rollout.

“The vaccination programme is very good news, as these are very effective vaccines for our patients and we understand how anxious people are to receive them. 

"But this is a huge logistical exercise and we are dealing with uncertainty in supplies and in changes to guidelines on vaccines for different age groups.

“GPs are not involved in the AstraZeneca vaccine to the over 60’s and those in that age group are asked to go to the HSE portal and please not to phone their GP practice.” 

“We appreciate that there is a lot of anxiety about getting vaccines especially for those at high risk. Please understand GPs have no discretion in deciding who gets the vaccine and when," said Dr Diarmuid Quinlan, ICGP Medical Director.

"Please don’t pressurise your GP unduly."

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