Nursing home staff refusing Covid-19 vaccine is "inexcusable", says HSE chief 2 weeks ago

Nursing home staff refusing Covid-19 vaccine is "inexcusable", says HSE chief

"But frankly, I would find it inexcusable not to take the vaccine in those roles."

Executive Director of the HSE Paul Reid has said the refusal of nursing home staff to receive the Covid-19 vaccine is "inexcusable".

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It comes following a report last week that some nursing home staff across the country had declined to receive a vaccination for Covid-19.

Reid told Newstalk Breakfast such instances are a rarity and said the uptake in vaccines in nursing homes was almost 100% in residents and in the "high 90s" for staff.

"Take up for the vaccine for both residents and staff has been extremely good, we've seen almost 100% of residents and high 90s in terms of staff, so take up has been extremely good," Reid said.

"I do actually find it inexcusable that staff on nursing homes or those roles would not take the vaccine, to be frank.

"Firstly, we should acknowledge the great work they've done this whole pandemic, being at the forefront of the whole fight against Covid.

"But the approach we can take is a health and safety legislation where we do a risk assessment and the manager determines that the person should have it for that role."

He said the person should then be placed in a different role if they have a patient facing role currently.

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Reid acknowledged the HSE does not have control over private nursing homes in terms of staff but said this would be "the approach under legislation as it currently exists."