Thursday, 1 April 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Pearse Doherty (Donegal, Sinn Fein)
There are so many problems with the vaccine roll-out that it is hard to know where to start. We learned from a meeting of a certain parliamentary party that despite the assurances that we would have 1 million vaccines rolled out in April, the number will, in fact, be just over 800,000. We were told that mandatory hotel quarantine is to be extended. Now, we understand there is no such agreement at Cabinet and, indeed, there are legal difficulties in that regard. This morning, it is reported that the Tánaiste told the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party that the list of workers who would receive priority vaccination was never defined. I am sure he is not sticking with that story because I have to hand a press release issued by the Minister for Health, which clearly defines who was supposed to get the vaccine. It refers to key workers in essential jobs who cannot avoid high risk of exposure, including workers in the food supply system, public and commercial transport and other vital services. It goes on to mention "those who are essential to education and who face disease exposure - primary and second level school staff, special needs assistants, childcare workers, maintenance workers, school bus drivers etc."