Vulnerable forced to queue for Covid vaccine with no social distancing guide

By Éadaoin Ní Flaithearta

OLDER people who attended the coronavirus vaccination clinic in the Killinarden Health Centre last Friday queued outside for up to a half an hour without social distancing or mask requirements being enforced, according to a woman who attended the clinic with her elderly mother.

Lorita Mitchell brought her mother Carmel Mayon, 77, from Kiltipper, to the clinic last week, after her mother received a phone call last Thursday offering her an appointment for the vaccine for the following day.

Lorita 02 1

Lorita with her mam Carmel

During the phone call, Carmel was told she would receive a text with a link that she would need to click.

The link brought her to an online questionnaire that she had to fill out before she could book her appointment at the end.

However, as Carmel doesn’t use the internet, her daughter and granddaughter helped her to fill in the form and confirm her appointment.

“They sent the link to my mam’s phone, but she doesn’t have the internet,” Lorita told The Echo. “So we sent it to my daughter’s phone and we opened the link.

“It was a joke. How on earth do they expect people to click a link to book an appointment when they haven’t got the internet?

“And what about older people who live on their own or don’t have any family, they’d look at something like that and not have a clue what to do or what it’s about.”

Lorita and her daughter successfully booked the appointment for Carmel for Friday afternoon, but Lorita was dismayed when she got to the clinic and saw a queue of approximately 20 people outside.

“I picked up my mam and brought her to the health centre, but when we got there, it was packed,” she said.

“There was a queue coming out of the health centre and past the main gate. We queued up and every three or four minutes they’d let one person in.

“The people in the queue were in their 70s and 80s. One woman had got a chair and was sitting outside near the main road, some of the people in the queue were using Zimmer frames.

“These were all vulnerable people, standing around in freezing conditions, and there were no markings or guidelines on the ground about social distancing.

“Some people were on top of each other and some weren’t wearing masks. No one from the clinic came out and said anything about it.

“It was an absolute disgrace. The queue was atrocious. It was an extremely bad set up.”

Lorita wasn’t allowed to go into the clinic with her mother, who is hard of hearing, but she waited outside to collect her afterwards.

“In fairness, the queue had gone down by the time she came out,” said Lorita, “but it was still out the gate.”

While Lorita said she was grateful that her mother was offered the vaccine, she hopes there will be improvements in relation to how the queues are managed by the time she brings her mother back for her second dose.

“They say that these people are vulnerable and that’s why they’re getting the vaccine now,” she said. “Well, if they’re that vulnerable, why are they left to queue outside the clinic?”

The Echo contacted the Killinarden Health Centre in relation to the issues Lorita raised, but they declined to comment.

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

Prev Councillor resigns due to family commitments
Next Campaign started to allow children exercise outdoors
  • Light House in Kilnamanagh gets decorated for Easter
  • Scrap yard fire Greenhills Road
  • A Happy St Patrick’s Day from Dublin Fire Brigade
  • Happy St Patrick's Day 2021
  • Food table in Tallaght

Will you watch the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah?

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.