From top: Trinity College; Bríd Ní Ghoibín (left) and Inés Lonergan
Bríd Ní Ghoibín and Inés Lonergan write:
We are two second year healthcare students training as a midwife and physiotherapist respectively, at Trinity College Dublin.
Healthcare students have been told by Trinity College that they cannot complete their clinical placement unless they provide proof of vaccination.
We are in the middle of our degrees. Now, we are being told that we must either prove that we have received a Covid-19 vaccine or risk bidding farewell to our career dreams, degrees, and all the hard work and savings already invested in them.
Clinical placement is a core part of our training, without which we cannot qualify as a midwife or physiotherapist.We were told by our university that all options would be explored in order to facilitate us going on placement, only to be later given an ultimatum: take the vaccine or risk losing your career.
We have offered to take part in routine testing for COVID-19, to wear additional PPE beyond what is required, and are open to whatever other non-pharmaceutical measures that could help mitigate any risk posed to patients but to no avail. Professor Martin Cormican, Clinical Lead of the HSE’s Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control team, has refused to meet with students to discuss measures to ensure that unvaccinated students can proceed with placement safely.
We intend to challenge these discriminatory and unjust policies at the High Court. This is the start of a journey. We wish to pave the way so that other students don’t have to endure the same inequality and maltreatment that we currently face.
Please consider donating to help us cover the costs associated with our legal action to challenge the divisive and unethical policies of the HSE and universities.