Denis Naughten has questioned why adults in constant contact with vulnerable children are not included in the early phases of the Covid vaccination programme.
“If vulnerable older people are being prioritised based on medical evidence, surely that same advice would also apply to vulnerable children? And if that is the case why are they not included in the initial phases of the vaccination strategy?” he asked.
“I accept these children cannot be vaccinated themselves because we have yet to receive vaccine trial evidence on children, but that would make it even more important to vaccinate those adults who come in daily contact with them in order to minimise the risk of picking up Covid-19.
“Today we have learned that U18s are to be last in the queue when it comes to vaccination for Covid-19 which means we must act now to protect our vulnerable children”.
“Another vulnerable cohort are full time family carers. If vaccination priority is based on the risk of death, followed by hospitalisation, then why are carers excluded? If carers get sick, then many older people will be forced into hospital or long-term care, putting further pressure on our health system.
“I’m disappointed that the political groupings in the Dáil were not consulted in advance of this announcement by Government, which is so vital if we are to have a unified approach to the vaccination strategy,” concluded Denis Naughten.