Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe TD has expressed concern at the long queues at the local walk in vaccination centre for those who are seeking booster shots. Teachta Crowe said that he had heard reports of people in their late 60s standing in a queue in winter conditions for over three and half hours and four hours over the weekend and today.

Teachta Crowe said:

“It is great to see so many people opt to get vaccine boosters in the last few days. I am deeply concerned however about the ability to work through the long queues that we have seen. Older people, those with a walking aid, and those with weakened immune systems should not be left outdoors to brave bitter winter conditions.

“On Friday, long queues formed with those with appointments mingling with unscheduled walk ins. This heightened unscheduled demand seems to be creating the huge challenge at the vaccination centres and needs to be reviewed by authorities.

“In the local centre here in Citywest, we have seen long queues of people waiting for over 3 hours and over in the wind and rain to get the booster vaccine. I heard from one man in his late 60s who only got his booster two and a half hours after his appointment time today. Another constituent without an appointment said he had arrived at 8.15 and didn’t leave Citywest until well after midday.

“The volunteers working in these centres are doing a fantastic job, but I fear that they have been given an impossible task given the amount of interest from people in getting boosters. I have also heard disturbing reports of vaccination staff bearing the brunt of people’s frustrations which is deeply regrettable.

“I have written today to the Minister for Health asking him if other options for the booster rollout are being considered and what his plans are to make the system work more efficiently. Clearly, the current system is not satisfactory and needs to be changed. No one should have to put their health at risk queuing for a vaccine and no volunteer or full time staff should be put in an impossible position having to watch senior citizens queue for hours in cold, damp winter conditions.”