Thursday, 1 April 2021
Vaccination Programme and Covid-19: Statements
I propose to ask a few questions and also to use my two minutes to get some answers. While the proposed changes in the restrictions, such as the removal of the 5 km radius and the opening of construction, were widely discussed and in the public domain for some time, and while people recognise the arguments in each case, the idea of reprioritisation on an age basis did not feature. It appears to have come out of the blue for so many people, such as teachers and gardaí, who were not expecting the kind of change in question. How much background discussion went into the proposed change? What research informed the decision? It appears to have emerged late in the day. Why would that be? If the goalposts have moved, people want to be assured they will not be moving again. What is the possibility of that?
Antigen testing can offer an easing of restrictions in so many areas. It can show that people are Covid clear and it is fast. I had the opportunity to try it out myself yesterday. Many people, including opticians and staff in meat factories, are using it. To what extent is it proposed to roll it out? It really offers an opportunity to people to try to get back to some semblance of what was normal. How quickly could it be done, and how much research is being conducted?