A colleague of mine cannot access indoor dining because she doesn’t have a Covid-19 certificate.
She doesn’t have a vaccine certificate because she can’t get the vaccine for medical reasons. I was shocked to find out that there is no exemption for people who can’t get the vaccine.
I’ve tried to find politicians discuss this and can only find this reference to Senator Denis O’Donvon raising the case of a woman, a pharmaceutical worker with Jannsen and lecturer, who can’t get the cert after she had an adverse reaction to her first shot. There is no mention of her having any underlying condition. The senator relayed to the Senate what she told him:
‘I am not a crackpot anti-vaxxer. I want to do my part in reducing the risk. But right now, the only way I can have a normal life like the rest of my family is to get Covid-19 myself and recover in order to get a Covid-19 certificate.’
In response, the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said:
“Covid passes for those who cannot be vaccinated is something we have discussed previously. It is a difficult balance. In many cases the reason people cannot be vaccinated is that there are underlying conditions that put them at higher risk. When I have discussed this with officials and public health doctors previously they have pointed out that it is not fair to say to people who cannot get vaccinated, the vast majority of whom would choose to be vaccinated, that they cannot avail of pubs and restaurants indoors.
“The counter to that is that while it may not be fair, if they have an underlying condition that puts them at higher risk of Covid-19, there is a real risk to them in some of these situations. There is no clean or easy answer to this. It is a deeply unfair situation. It is a small number of people, but it is an unenviable position. The current position is based solely on their health and safety and minimising the risk of exposing them to Covid.”
So health officials say it’s unfair and even NPHET strongly recommended in its letter of October 18 to Minister Donnelly that the Rapid Testing Expert Advisory Group examine “the potential role and feasibility of rapid testing as a component of the COVID pass for those for whom, on medical grounds, it is not been possible to get fully vaccinated.”
Has this not happened? If not, why not? How is this fair?