Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout must be free, fair, and transparent – David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has today published his document on planning the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The "Covid-19 Vaccine' document highlights the importance of honest and accurate information being made available to encourage uptake of the vaccine.
It also identifies a number of areas for improvement in Government policy, as well as setting out the general principles which Sinn Féin believe must underpin the vaccine rollout.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The Covid-19 Pandemic has caused widespread disruption to our normal lives.
“Immunisation is key to re-opening society and getting back to business.
“Political and community leaders must show leadership, distribute educational materials, and counter misinformation.
“There is a responsibility on all of us to make sure that this works.
“For this rollout to be as smooth as possible, there must be transparency and investment in publicly available, scientifically sound information.
“To successfully eliminate the virus, our strategy must recognise that this island is a single epidemiological unit. Immunisation will be more effective with cooperation.
“The infrastructure for storage, distribution, and administration of the vaccine needs to be in place by year-end to ensure we can administer initial stock of the vaccine rapidly.
“Community staffing levels must be boosted to supplement GPs and pharmacists in administering the vaccine, including clinical and administrative staff.
“With the cooperation of community and voluntary organisations, pop-up vaccination centres should be rolled out, particularly for rural, remote, and poorly served areas.
“Healthcare workers, older people and high-risk persons should be prioritised, and due consideration should be given to the relative importance of prioritising immunisation on a geographic and economic-sectoral basis.
“Under 55s, and under 35s in particular, must be encouraged to get the vaccine as high uptake in these cohorts is essential.
“The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Assembly Committee on Health should scrutinise and all-island proof the plans for the vaccine rollout to ensure they are robust, and their input should be sought by the Ministers for Health.
“Mistakes with travel restrictions and failing to deliver cross-border cooperation on outbreak suppression and management cannot be repeated with the vaccine.”