The Vhi has said that CEO John O'Dwyer has stepped aside, pending the outcome of an investigation into the facts surrounding his receipt of the Covid-19 vaccination from the Beacon Hospital.

The company said the board learned that he had received the vaccine this morning.

"The board is aware and, with Mr O'Dwyer's consent, can now disclose that he has been a patient of the Beacon Hospital and St James's Hospital for oesophageal cancer," it said in a statement.

"The board is commencing an investigation to establish the facts."

It added that while the investigation is ongoing Mr O'Dwyer has offered to step aside as CEO and the board has agreed to this. 

Earlier, the Irish Daily Mail had reported that Mr O'Dwyer had received a vaccine from the hospital.

Declan Moran has been appointed acting CEO in the interim.

Meanwhile, a teacher from St Gerard's senior school in Bray has said they are "utterly devastated and very angry" that colleagues received vaccines from the Beacon Hospital.

In a letter to RTÉ’s Liveline programme the teacher wrote that not all teachers at the school had received the vaccine and only a small minority had.

The teacher said the rest of the staff should not be expected to "carry the can for them".

It came after the Beacon Hospital announced last night that an independent review would be conducted into the controversy.

Last Friday, it was revealed that the privately owned hospital administered 20 leftover Covid-19 vaccines to a number of teachers at St Gerard's School in Bray.

In a statement, the hospital said: "The Board of Beacon Hospital unreservedly apologises to our patients, staff and the wider community for the upset caused by the vaccination of teachers in the Beacon Vaccination Centre."

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly also asked the HSE on Saturday to suspend the vaccination programme at the hospital.

The teacher's letter read: "It is a very small minority of them and they have to live with this. The vast majority have no part of this and yet have been tarred with the same brush."

The teacher said the number of teachers and management who took the vaccine amounted to 20 people and the fact that some had received the vaccines was not shared with other staff.

The letter continued: "There are possibly 100 members of staff between the two schools. So approximately a fifth are involved in this affair. The chosen colleagues never told or shared this information with the rest of teaching staff.

"The rest only learned of this appalling affair from the breaking news on Friday.

"Teachers and their extended family and staff are innocent of this scandal, but have had to endure text messages and phone calls, all weekend, asking them if they have skipped the queue on taking the vaccine.

"We should not be expected to carry the can for them."

The teacher said they did not accept that the vaccines the their colleagues received were going to waste, adding that they would not have taken the vaccine if offered it.

"I can swear, I would not have taken the vaccine had I been offered it. I am fit and healthy, and I'm frustrated that my own elderly relatives have not yet been vaccinated.

"I am glad I did not get the call anyway, as I would have been left knowing that this was going on, then I would, I too would have been complicit. It is a disgrace.

"It should never have happened."