Thursday, 1 April 2021
Vaccination Programme and Covid-19: Statements
Vaccination should have been done on age, with healthcare workers, those with underlying conditions and those living in residential care being vaccinated at the same time. We should continue with the plan to do this on age and at the same time prioritise those on the front line. We all got letters from teachers about their concerns. Schools have been a priority for us and that is great to see, but I ask that we consider a priority list for gardaí, SNAs, childcare workers and those in essential retail. They are a priority. We told them they were a priority to us. That is so important. Communication is key, whether it is talking to the unions or to the various sectors. We must improve communications.
I also wish to ask the Minister about the database. Are there concerns or issues concerning the database? He might respond to me on that.
I wish again to raise family carers. The Minister is aware that is an issue I have been working on with carers. My mother is receiving her second vaccine today, which is brilliant. As a family, it is great for us to see that. All families love to know when family members are getting their vaccines, and that is certainly the case for me with my mother. However, my sister, who is her full-time carer, does not know when she will get her vaccination. These are issues we need to work on and I urge the Minister to consider it.
Could the Minister clarify the change to category 9 in the revised plan?
Under the old plan, this category referred to people living and working in crowded accommodation. Now the line reads, "People 16 to 64 living or working in crowded settings". Maybe the Minister could come back to me on that.
On 6 April, everyone in New York aged 16 or over will become eligible for a vaccine, something that will be repeated across the US. It has priority groups but is also going by age. Can we categorise by age and priority? That is essential.