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The Alzheimer Society of Ireland calls on Irish Government to designate family carers of people with dementia as priority group for COVID-19 vaccination

Tuesday 23 February 2021

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) is actively highlighting and lobbying the Irish Government about the importance of family carers of people with dementia being included as a priority group in the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Unlike other European countries, where family carers are being prioritised, they are not recognised as an at-risk or high-priority group or category in Ireland’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.

There is a real urgency and importance to this issue and The ASI is concerned by the lack of any mention of family carers as a specific group, and by the vaccination schedule, given their very real vulnerabilities in relation to COVID-19.

Currently, family carers are not only shielding their loved ones from COVID-19, but are living in fear of what would happen if they themselves got sick and were unable to perform their carer role, which is very distressing. The ASI knows that family carers are keeping hundreds of thousands of Ireland's more vulnerable in society safe, providing 24/7 care at home, and it wants to ensure that they are recognised and prioritised, and that they are protected by this vaccine.

The ASI is actively lobbying the Irish Government and opposition parties to have family carers included as a priority group for vaccinations. It is also part of an Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science and Industry (IPPOSI) coalition, seeking vaccination prioritisation.