A decision by a Dublin hospital to give excess Covid vaccines to 20 teachers at an exclusive school did not follow proper procedures, a report has said.
The independent investigation was carried out into the decision by the Beacon Hospital to vaccinate staff members at St Gerard’s private school in Bray in March.
The review said that while the decision was incorrect, it was taken in “good faith”.
The board of directors at the hospital has apologised for “any upset caused”.
The south Dublin hospital, which was administering vaccines as part of the state programme, has admitted vaccinating the teachers was not in line with the HSE’s sequencing guidelines.
The decision to vaccinate the Bray Teachers was taken by Mr Cullen alone. No-one else participated in, or contributed to, the decisionIndependent reviewer Eugene McCague
Report author Eugene McCague said that the decision to give the vaccines, which were left over after a daily session, to the teachers was made by Beacon chief executive Michael Cullen.
The report said: “The decision to vaccinate the Bray Teachers was taken by Mr Cullen alone. No-one else participated in, or contributed to, the decision.
“The decision was taken by Mr Cullen quickly, without consultation, and was communicated to the Bray teachers through the principal of the junior school while Mr Cullen was at home and before he returned to the vaccination clinic.
“The decision was taken by Mr Cullen in a time-pressured situation in the mistaken belief that the risk of doses being wasted entitled Beacon to administer the doses to anyone who was available, other than patients.
“While the basis on which Mr Cullen made his decision was incorrect, I am satisfied that he made the decision in good faith.”
The report added: “Contrary to what Mr Cullen believed and consequently represented to the Bray teachers, the decision did not have HSE permission.”
In a statement, the non-executive directors of the board of Beacon Hospital, said they retained full confidence in their chief executive.
The statement said: “The board accepts the view of the independent reviewer that while the basis on which the decision was made to contact the school was incorrect, it was made in good faith.
“We as a board regret that this series of events happened and apologise for the upset caused.
“However, having considered the detailed review and the findings of the independent reviewer, the board has determined that it retains full confidence in Michael Cullen, our CEO.”
Earlier this year, Taoiseach Micheal Martin described the decision to use spare jabs on teachers as “repugnant”.
Mr Martin said what happened was “unacceptable”.
“I’ve condemned it. It’s repugnant something like that would actually happen,” the Fianna Fail leader said.