The Irish Government’s vaccine rollout has received further flack, after a letter was sent to a deceased woman for her vaccine appointment next week. This woman passed away nine years ago.
Alice Kavanagah was a diabetic and died suddenly from a blood clot aged 49 in 2012.
In the letter sent to the Kavanagh family. It read:
“As you have in the past attended or are currently attending the Endocrine Unit in St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown (this includes Weight Management Service & Diabetes Service)”.
“We are also aware that for some this may mean you have a distance to travel and this may not be suitable for you. If this is the case we would advise you to contact your GP to discuss alternatives”.
Alice’s husband Derek described this as “shocking”. He also added it was very upsetting for the family.
“I was shocked. It brings it all back really because it’s her anniversary next week and the we get this letter about her being invited for the vaccine before it”.
He also added, “She died nine years ago so surely between the HSE and the Hospital they’re systems were updated at some point”.
Mr Kavanagh continued, “It just shows you what a mess the whole vaccine roll-out has been”.
“How many more of these letters have been sent to dead people, completely taking up appointment dates and the delaying the whole process for everyone?”.
“My daughter is in Australia and they’re opening up again, returning to offices and the cleaners no longer have to clean areas down”.
“That’s how far ahead they are but where are we? This needs to be brought to the Government’s attention because this could be holding the whole thing up, making appointments for dead people is shocking”.
“Perhaps all the no-shows we keep hearing about are appointments for people who are no longer here to take them up”.
“Zero faith in the whole process”
Alice’s son Stephen also echoed his father’s anger at this letter, calling it “shocking”. He also said he has “zero faith in the whole process” of Ireland’s vaccine rollout.
He said, “What kind of faith would you have in the roll-out programme if they’re sending letters to dead people. How many more of these letters have gone out?”.
He also added, “I work in hospitality and haven’t worked over the past year. We’re all just sitting here waiting for vaccines to get roll-out so that we can get back to work and hopefully normality can return and then something like this happens”.
The HSE said that they cannot comment on individual cases.
Buy they also added, “The compiling of the lists at hospital level of those patients with underlying conditions and who are eligible for vaccination is a manual and difficult process where human error may occur”.
They also said, “We regret any distress that may have inadvertently be caused at this unprecedented time to any patients or their families”.
This comes as Táiniste Leo Varadkar also said that fully vaccinated people will be allowed extra freedoms.