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A South Clare councillor has called on the HSE to put in place necessary support to ensure general practitioners are not put under undue pressure when it comes to the administering of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Limerick GP, Dr Kieran Murphy recently announced he had decided not to partake in the vaccination roll-out as a result of the pressure and abuse from some patients demand they get the jab.

Staff had been kept awake due to their worries associated with the vaccine, much of which arose due to a limited supply.

“We live in a very small community so the word got out that some people, particularly in the age range 75 to 80, had been vaccinated while others hadn’t, and we then began getting intimidating phone calls as to why particular people had been vaccinated and others hadn’t,” the Athea based GP stated.

His situation was referenced at a Clare County Council briefing by Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF). “I would be afraid more of his colleagues would go down the same route,” the Cratloe representative commented. He asked if the HSE could put structures in place to “help the doctors not to be afraid”.

Chief Clinical Director of UL Hospitals Group, Prof Brian Lenehan voiced his upset with the intimidation and “threatening behaviour”. He acknowledged, “There is a lot of fear and anxiety on when people will be vaccinated”.

“As soon as sequencing allows we will be delivering wide-scale vaccinations, as volume of vaccines increases we will see drop in level of anxiety, it will be a team effort,” he added. More stakeholders are expected to come on board but at present, supply is limited.

Maria Bridgeman of Mid West Community Healthcare expressed her thanks to Cllr O’Gorman for acknowledging Dr Murphy.

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