The University College Dublin (UCD) School of Medicine have told their students they must have the Covid-19 vaccination in order to carry out clinical placement, The College Tribune has learned. The communication was sent to students on March 26th.

The email sent to students said “we (therefore) require any students who have already declined a COVID vaccine or who plan on declining same to notify the DI office by return of email”

The email then confirmed to students who have not or will not take the vaccine that “student placements will no longer be possible in HSE sites”. The communication further informed students that private clinics will “most likely” follow the same mandate. The rule is set to come in from April 2nd, as a result of a statement HSE chief clinical officer.

A spokesperson from the School of Medicine confirmed the vaccination is a “requirement” for students set to go on placement, but they would be happy to “alleviate” concerns that students have over the newly developed vaccine:

“(Covid-19) vaccination is now a requirement for medicine students wishing to take up clinical placements in HSE facilities. This was outlined in a memo from Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE dated 26/03/21, received by the School. Dr Henry also discussed this with the Dean and the Deans of the five other Irish School of Medicine and all Deans are supportive of the HSE position.

This position will be communicated to all clinical students at UCD School of Medicine by Friday 2nd April.

We understand that there are exceptional circumstances where there is specific and documented medical contraindication to vaccination, as highlighted by Dr Henry. We also understand that some students have concerns about the C-19 vaccination, as a relatively newly developed vaccination. If this is the case, we are more than happy to meet with the individual students and discuss their concerns in an effort to alleviate them.”

The decision comes in the week that the Irish Government amended the vaccine roll-out, with vaccine prioritisation falling into categories regarding age, rather than occupation.

Luke Murphy, Co-Editor