Despite setbacks with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Dublin’s homeless population will join the vaccination rollout next week. The most vulnerable, harder to reach groups in Ireland had been previously earmarked for the J&J vaccine by health officials, due to its one-shot dosage.
However, the HSE has earmarked an initial 700 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine amid delays with the J&J vaccine. Plans to administer to homeless people commence from Monday, at a facility in Dublin city centre.
Certain cohorts, who may have no fixed accommodation, are hard to reach and the HSE and homeless services recognise this struggle. Dublin Fire Brigade will be working to assist in the transportation of people to the facility, starting with very high-risk individuals living in hostels across the city.
The HSE and homeless services acknowledge the difficulties in reaching cohorts who may have no fixed abode, including homeless people. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires just one dose, making it the more preferred solution to administering people who frequently pass through services.
Consultations are currently ongoing between the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE), NGOs and the HSE over plans to administer effectively from next week. Dublin Fire Brigade will be working to assist in the transportation of people to the facility, starting with very high-risk individuals living in hostels across the city.
According to official figures, the homeless rate in Dublin City is an estimated 3,000 people, in addition to 700 families living in hotels. From next week, the HSE plan to vaccinate a number of vulnerable people living in long-term accommodation in Dublin.
Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland and other homeless providers also provide accommodation for hundreds of people living in long-term accommodation provided by Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland and other homeless providers. Families will be vaccinated at a later stage in the vaccination programme as well as the remainder of homeless people in Dublin as the rollout continues.
Hundreds of people also reside at long-term accommodation provided by Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland, and other homeless providers. As the rollout continues, families and the remainder of Dublin’s homeless people will be vaccinated at a later stage of the programme.
In Dublin, the majority of frontline homeless-service staff have already received at least one dose of a vaccine. According to a Focus Ireland spokesperson, the vaccination programme’s rollout for Dublin’s homeless people “is a massively positive step forward in the fight against COVID”.
“Focus Ireland’s approach is to continue to follow public health advice and encourage both frontline staff and people who are homeless to avail of the vaccine at the earliest opportunity. We all have our part to play in this programme and it is a very positive development.”
A spokesperson for Peter McVerry Trust said it welcomes the rollout of vaccines across homeless services. They said they “continue to work closely with our partners in the HSE and the DRHE to ensure that those who are medically vulnerable in homeless services are supported to access vaccination opportunities offered in line with appropriate medical sequencing and the available supply of vaccines”.
“Our staff have been speaking to and supporting people in our services with information from the HSE in relation to the vaccines and vaccine programme. We will continue to support people throughout the process and minimise barriers people might face in taking up vaccine offers.”