Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara challenged the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee on the scientific basis for expanding vaccine passports.
Mr McNamara said:
“We know the vaccinated can efficiently transmit Covid-19, including to vaccinated people. That is the science and is generally accepted. What is the scientific rationale for continuing and expanding vaccination certificates? Is there a shred of evidence for this?
“It appears that there was no evidence in Wales. The matter was discussed in the Welsh Assembly. What evidence does the Government have to do that?
If there is no evidence, why are we doing it other than to deflect blame from a Government that has done nothing to address the capacity issues in our healthcare system?
“There are 95 people on trolleys in Limerick today. Over the past eight weeks, there were 27 outbreaks linked to hospitality, eight in gyms, six in hairdressers and 283 in healthcare settings. One might say the 95 people on trolleys are a result of the upturn in Covid, but that is not the case.
“On the hottest day this year, when there were only 95 people in the entire country in hospital with Covid-19, there were 49 people on trolleys in Limerick. The issue of overcrowding in Limerick is clearly exacerbated by, but not limited to, Covid. I discussed this issue with the Minister, Deputy Simon Harris, when he was Minister for Health. He promised the sun, moon and stars with regard to the elimination of overcrowding. Nothing has been done.
“Instead of dealing with the problems and lack of capacity in our healthcare system, the Government is focusing on increasing outdoor dining in the middle of winter and expanding a vaccine pass for which I have seen no evidence. If I am shown evidence for it I am willing to consider it, but I see none for it. That exemplifies what is wrong with our Covid response in this State and why we are failing.”
From @paulcullenit in the Irish Times today.
"Last year there were 30-50 hospital admissions per 1,000 cases; this year the ratio currently stands at 35 admissions per 1,000 cases"
We need to increase ICU provision, and stop seeing vaccines as a silver bullet. pic.twitter.com/CfMCoXwiJ6
— Frank Armstrong (@frankarmstrong2) November 17, 2021
If government is going to rely on this particular tool to the extent that it has, then it would want to making a more convincing argument about its benefits, and it should mitigate the discriminatory effects by allowing people to get certs with a negative test.
— ICCLtweet 🏳️🌈 (@ICCLtweet) November 17, 2021