Thursday, 18 February 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
I would also like to raise the issue about Covid-19 vaccines for family carers. Carers who work for the HSE and private providers will be a priority. However, the State equally depends on family carers but the Minister, Deputy Stephen Donnelly, stated that family carers are not seen as a distinct cohort. This was very hurtful to family carers. They care 24-7 with no days off, no breaks, no shift changes and little rest. I have been contacted by many courageous family carers, such as Ms Jane Johnson from Wexford, a loving mother with two sons with special needs, who said, "It is time to embrace their diversity." Family carers feel that they are on the outskirts of society and unseen and unvalued. Family carers are very concerned about who will take on their caring duties should they themselves have to isolate. We are told that the allocation groups can be revised and re-examined. I would appeal to the Government to start seeing and valuing family carers in giving them equal status as their fellow carers in priority 2.