People who cannot find childcare to attend a Covid-19 vaccination appointment should be assisted rather than refused permission, according to the CEO of One Family.

Karen Kiernan said it should be possible for people to request an alternative time when older children might be at school, or if they have to bring a young child that they could attend at a quieter time.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Damian O'Reilly, she said her organisation is seeking clarity from the Health Service Executive on the issue.

Current HSE guidelines say a person must attend their vaccine appointment alone, although they can be driven to the vaccination centre, and not to bring children.

Ms Kiernan said her organisation has been contacted by people who said they were refused entry to a vaccination centre because they had their children with them.

She said that as younger people start to get vaccinated, and as schools break up for the summer holidays, the situation will become more difficult for some people.

Ms Kiernan said she has heard anecdotally that workers at a vaccination centre suggested that children are left in the car while their parent gets their vaccine.

She said this is not safe or appropriate, particularly if the parent should have an adverse reaction to the jab.

Ms Kiernan said workers at the vaccination centres are doing a fantastic job, but said not everyone is in a position to arrange care for their children to attend the centres.

"If we want to include everybody, and we want everybody to be safe, then we need to come up with ways of doing that," she added.


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