Sinn Féin and the Social Democrats may seem unlikely political bedfellows but on one subject, at least, they see eye to eye.

The Meath East Social Democrats Branch and Sinn Féin TD for the same constituency, Darren O’Rourke are agreed that there have been problems in South Meath in relation to the Covid19 vaccine. O’Rourke described it as a “postcode lottery”.

Paul Nolan of the Social Democrats Meath East branch claimed on the 16th of May, that residents living in Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin, Kilcloon, Ashbourne and surrounding areas are “still waiting on a vaccine appointment text message, 4 weeks after registering”, despite the HSE stating that they expected to complete first dose vaccines to all 60-69 year olds in County Meath by the 15th or 16th of May. Nolan called on the HSE for an urgent review.

O’Rourke stated, “We have been told repeatedly that age is the defining risk factor. The vaccine rollout is supposed to be based on age. There should be no postcode lottery”. He called on the HSE to “ensure fairness in the Covid19 vaccine rollout in Co Meath, following concern that many people in the south Meath area were being left behind”.

O’Rourke reported today that there has been significant progress in addressing the backlog in Meath in the last 24 hours, affirming: “I have been in regular contact with the HSE on this.

‘They assure me that they are working their way systematically through everyone who has registered. Others have suggested that there are IT failures, perhaps related to specific eircodes. I have not heard that from the HSE. Either way, it is clear that the rollout in Meath is behind other counties and in some parts of the county, it is patchy at best, random and incoherent at worst. I am glad to say that there has been significant progress in addressing the backlog in the past 24 hours”.

“Any outstanding issues must be addressed, though, to maintain people’s confidence in the system and to ensure that the rollout is as fair and as efficient as possible”.

“It is well known that primary care and public health services in Co. Meath are chronically underfunded. These are the very services that our vaccine rollout is dependent on. I will be raising this with the Minister for Health in the Dáil this week. It is essential that the necessary resources are made available in Meath to ensure a smooth vaccine rollout now and into the future.”

The Social Democrats Meath East branch also welcomed the progress made by the HSE