HSE admits IT issues are partial reason for booster no-shows
The HSE admitted computer problems as a partial reason for the 50% no-shows at recall vaccination centers.
But instead of explaining the reasons why cancellation attempts go unrecorded, as demanded by the Irish Independent, the national health body has broadened the range of ways in which cancellations can be attempted.
He asked people to let the HSE know “if you don’t want to make your appointment and instead show up for a walk-in service at a vaccination center or pharmacy.”
Responding to concerns about absences (DNA), which normally only accounts for 20% in other areas of health services, the HSE said it was increasing means to cancel.
The public now has three options:
• SMS indicating NEW (if you wish to reprogram) or REJECT (if vaccinated or does not wish to resume the reminder). It may be a response to your call SMS.
• Complete an online form at https://www2.hse.ie/services/booster-enquiries/cancel.html
• HSELive phone at 1800 700 700.
A spokesperson for HSE told the Irish Independent: “We have continued to improve the computer system that works for the immunization program.
“As GPs and pharmacies operate on different computer systems, there may be a gap in vaccination notification which can, from time to time, result in multiple appointments. “
But he said that once a vaccination is put on the system, any previous appointments issued for a vaccination center will be canceled by the HSE.
“Sometimes people will get appointments from more than one source, or even after they’ve already been vaccinated.
“While steps have been taken to minimize this, it is inevitable that it will happen, but our priority is to make sure we give people as many choices as possible to get vaccinated.”
HSE CEO Paul Reid said: “Certainly we were seeing, in some of our walk-in centers, not the same usage over the previous two weeks as we might have thought.
“Talking to some of our GPs at ICGP, they wouldn’t have seen the same demand at certain stages as they might have thought. So we want to encourage people to come forward, that’s for sure. “
But he said there were some differences between how the HSE handles this phase compared to the previous one. “For example, we now have several channels that people can go to. At first, it was a dedicated channel, either your general practitioner or a vaccination center.
“Now it’s open to people through three channels (one pharmacy included, with walk-in centers). It makes a big difference. The second difference has been that we are going through the ages now, we are going through the ages in larger blocks. “
The last time jabs were decreasing by year of age – 59, 58, 57, for example. The new approach aims to get more people through, faster, amid concerns over Omicron.
A third difference is that “now we started with the walk-in visits”, instead of having them at the end of the cohort phases before.
“We are increasing our capacity everywhere. Pharmacies take a lot more. And general practitioners have done a phenomenal job. So, yeah, we’re definitely at full capacity, but there are some really big differences in how we’re doing it this time around. And yes, there were issues that caused.
He added: “I would never put it all down to reluctance. We do not see vaccine hesitation, on the contrary.
“People have a number of options to try to fit it into their lives and into the other demands they have. But our appeal would be to people that this is the most important date you can make between now and Christmas. Please prioritize this appointment for your own protection. “
Damien McCallion, National HSE Immunization Program Manager, said: “Our goal here is to try to vaccinate as many people as possible and to give people the opportunity to get vaccinated.
“We know that in European terms we are doing very well in terms of the numbers we get. We didn’t necessarily have the throughput in the morning and we understand that people have more commitments.
The multi-channel approach “will allow more people to get vaccinated more quickly,” he said.
People should deselect themselves if they have had Covid in the past six months and therefore cannot take the vaccine, he said. “They can report it and we will continue to come back to them and encourage them.
“Obviously, they can choose for themselves at the end of their six months, maybe go to a pharmacy or whatever. “
In the event of a no-show, the spokesperson said: “We will not always be able to record the reason for a person’s no-show for a booster vaccine.
“A person could also go to a pharmacy or a general practitioner, so it will only be as we move up through the cohorts that we have a better understanding of DNA levels.”
The HSE Covid vaccination program has administered more than one million additional doses to date, including booster vaccines and immunocompromised vaccines.
The program is currently in the top four in Europe in terms of the number of people vaccinated per 100,000.